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Women’s Participation in Defending Ukraine in Russia’s War | Lecture


Gender studies Sociology


#SolidarityWithUkraine Gender history Russia-Ukraine war Women's rights


Wednesday, 08.02.2023, 10:15-11:45  a.m., as part of the Interdisciplinary Research Network Gender • Power Relations • The State

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The Euromaidan protests in 2013-2014 inspired women in Ukraine to fight more actively for their rights, especially in the military sphere. When the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) started, women joined the front lines of the Donbas war as volunteers, journalists, medical staff, and military (in combat positions). The lecture examines the successes and challenges of gender equality implementation in the Ukrainian armed forces over the last eight years and the multitudinous forms of resistance exercised by Ukrainian women during the current war. Women’s involvement in war could be analyzed from two major perspectives – agency and victimhood. Women are not only victims of the situation, those who suffer from war and belong to vulnerable groups. They are also actors of resistance, those who have agency and participate actively in different activities. In response to Russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, women remain active: results of a public opinion survey (March 2022) demonstrate that most Ukrainian women are willing to resist with arms.

Dr. Tamara Martsenyuk holds a Ph.D. in Sociology. She is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. After evacuation from Kyiv, Tamara was hosted by Free University Berlin. She is also a visiting scholar at Leuphana University (Germany).

In 2015-2021 Tamara and her team conducted sociological studies called “Invisible Battalion” that demonstrated the successes and challenges of gender equality implementation in the Ukrainian armed forces, the status of female veterans, and the problem of sexual harassment in the military.

Martsenyuk authored chapters in “Gender, Politics, and Society in Ukraine” (2012), “New Imagina­ries: Youthful Reinvention of Ukraine’s Cultural Paradigm” (2015), and other books. Her papers have been published in the Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, Problems of Post-Communism, Sexuality & Culture, and others.

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