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07 Oct. 2023

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How has the war affected the family life of Ukrainian women?

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How has the war affected the family life of Ukrainian women?

The war unleashed by russia has not only shifted priorities and affected the financial and psycho-emotional state of Ukrainians, but also changed the role of women in the family. Find out how life has changed for Ukrainian refugee women, IDPs and military wives in a new Gradus study

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The war in Ukraine has affected all spheres of Ukrainian life, disrupting their psycho-emotional state, family relationships, and financial situation. But, as sociologists note, the war has also significantly changed the usual role of women in the family. 


That's why Gradus Research, commissioned by the University of East Anglia, conducted a study among female IDPs, wives of military personnel and refugees who returned from abroad to find out how the war affected their lives and worldview.


The most vulnerable category: whose life has changed the most?


Undoubtedly, the war has left a mark on the lives of all families, without exception, and women in particular, significantly expanding their "functionality" and increasing physical and psycho-emotional stress. However, the study showed that the lives of military wives have changed the most, as follows:


- 54% of respondents noted that they felt a significant increase in financial responsibilities;

- 62% of respondents admitted that they feel much more responsible for their children;

- 63% of Ukrainian women began to plan the life of the whole family much more actively.


For female IDPs, the changes were also noticeable, but 39% of respondents reported a significant increase in their role in family financial matters, while 44% of respondents said their role had not changed. At the same time, 46% of respondents noted that their role in family life planning had increased significantly.


For the women who returned to Ukraine from abroad, the changes were the least noticeable, as follows:


- 19% of them began to take more responsibility for the family's financial situation;

- 34% began to take a more active part in the upbringing and planning of their children's future;

- 38% began to plan more family life for the whole family.


How has the war affected the earnings and overall financial situation of Ukrainian women?


According to the sociologists, all target groups participating in the study felt a significant negative impact of the war on their financial situation.


The greatest impact was reported by Ukrainian women who returned from abroad and IDPs. Among the former, the share of those with low or below average income has tripled from 17% to 50%. And among women who were forced to change their place of residence within the country, it doubled, from 37% to 70%. Among the wives of military personnel, 5% of respondents reported low income, but at the same time, the rate of families with below-average income increased from 31% to 40%.


It is also important to note that only 36% of the surveyed IDP women reported that their main dwelling was not destroyed or damaged, while among military wives and women who returned to Ukraine, this figure is 81% and 88%, respectively.


Sociologists also note that the financial situation of women was also affected by the fact that the level of employment has significantly decreased since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of russia:


- Among IDP women, the employment rate has dropped from 50% to 35%;

- among Ukrainian refugee women from 41% to 30%;

- among wives of military personnel from 63% to 50%.


Accordingly, the unemployment rate has also increased:


- from 3% to 20% among IDPs

- from 5% to 11% among military wives;

- from 7% to 19% among returning refugees.




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Changes in authority in child-rearing during the war


In general, women report that their authority in raising children has increased significantly since the start of the full-scale invasion. At the same time, wives of military personnel note that both parents have increased their authority. 


At the same time, IDP women note that while their own authority has increased, there has been a significant decrease in the authority of grandparents in raising children, and the role of the father in the family has remained at about the same level as before the start of the full-scale war.


Are Ukrainian women satisfied with their personal lives during the war?


According to sociologists, despite the high level of stress and constant psychological challenges, travel and fears, women from all target groups maintain a relatively high level of satisfaction with their relationships and family life.


Women who returned from abroad were the happiest, with 87% of them saying they were satisfied with their relationships. Among the wives of military personnel, this figure is 81%, and among IDP women it reaches 72%.


Thus, according to the commentary of sociologist, founder and director of Gradus Research Yevheniia Blyzniuk, despite the obvious difficulties and constant challenges posed by the war to Ukrainian women, more than half of the respondents tend to believe that the events of 2022-2023 brought their families closer together and increased the level of support between their family members. In addition, women noted that during the war, they felt that their partners made a significant contribution to family relationships, and even the physical separation of their families did not affect their happiness.


We remind you, that Switzerland has announced that it will encourage Ukrainians to return home with financial payments of up to 4,000 euros. The government's preliminary strategy envisages a window of six to nine months for departure. Read more about who will be offered payments for leaving the country and under what conditions in our previous article.


Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




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