May 28, 2023


The European Parliament committee on Women’s Rights held a hearing today to discuss women’s rights issues for refugees fleeing Ukraine. Almost 5 million refugees have escaped the country since the unprovoked Russian invasion. However the Parliament reports that most of these refugees are women and children, who often face additional challenges when relocating. Everything from difficulty finding work to sexual trafficking/exploitation affects women refugees moreso than it does others. 

“Unfortunately it is usually women and girls who pay the highest price of such a war,” Robert Biedroń (S&D, PL), chair of the Women’s rights committee, said. “They are responsible for maintaining families, finding jobs in new circumstances and new countries without knowing the local language. It is women and chidren also…, who fall victim to sexual abuse and human trafficking.”

Since early March, the EU has prioritized humanitarian assistance for women and girls to prevent sexual violence, support reproductive services and protect refugees from sex trafficking. The Commission and the Parliament have both issued statements and guidance to help countries hosting refugees account for the unique challenges that displaced women face. The Commission encourages countries to use their support funds to guarantee access to childcare, education, employment opportunities and even psychological support.  

Since the invasion almost 2 months ago, the EU has sent €550 million to Ukraine in humanitarian assistance. This is in addition to taking in almost 5 million refugees across all member states. The EU and its members have also passed five rounds of increasingly harsh sanctions, coordinated with other allied nations and sent military equipment to the Ukrainian military, who continues to defend their country from Russian forces.


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