Ukraine Diaries: Ukrainian Women at War
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Ukraine Diaries: Ukrainian Women at War
18th December 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
From the outset of the brutal invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian men have displayed true heroism, with engineers, academics and civil servants taking up arms and confronting the aggressor on the streets. Legendary pilots, frontline soldiers, and innovative tech operators have rightfully earned the status of war heroes. However, the spotlight on heroism of the Ukrainian nation has predominantly centered on men, leaving the contributions of Ukrainian women in the shadows.
Faced with the harrowing choice of leaving loved ones behind to shield their children from the ravages of war, millions of women found themselves grappling with the task of rebuilding their lives from scratch in foreign lands. Yet, far from mere survival, many women have not only thrived but also expanded and progressed. Abroad, they have forged a robust community, championing Ukraine in media, corporate, and government spheres. Their efforts focused on sustaining global attention to the ongoing war, combating disinformation, leading advocacy on punishment for war crimes. They have initiated the establishment of new businesses, attracted investors into their existing ones, and actively shaped the post-war future of Ukraine.
Notably, a significant number of women have chosen to remain in Ukraine, standing shoulder to shoulder with men on the frontlines. Whether serving as frontline medics, demonstrating prowess as snipers, or assuming leadership roles within male-dominated military units Ukrainian women at war have crafted a new blueprint for all future conflicts.
In recognition of their remarkable contributions, The Henry Jackson Society is honoured to introduce the two distinguished speakers who will delve into the experiences of these resilient Ukrainian women at war.
Iryna Nykorak is a leading Ukrainian politician, serving as a Member of Ukrainian Parliament for the European Solidarity party. Holding a master’s degree in civil law and an MBA in Business Process and Project Management, Ms Nykorak has been an active member of the Kyiv City Council during the VIII and IX convocations. Beyond her political career, she founded the NGO “Brave Ukraine” in 2015, providing crucial support during challenging times.
In 2023, Nykorak continues her impactful work, advocating for social projects such as ARMWOMENNOW, ArmWomen Hub, and hosting ArmWomenBlog—a YouTube channel highlighting the stories of women servicemen in the Ukrainian army. Recently elected to the IX convocation, she plays a crucial role on the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Social Policy and Protection of Veterans. Currently, Nykorak focuses on the role of women in achieving peace, breaking stereotypes, and shaping a new veteran’s policy, contributing to policy reforms in the security and defense sector for a stronger, more inclusive Ukraine.
Julia Petryk is a community builder, globetrotter, inspirational networker and educator who drives a PR professional community in Ukraine. She co-founded the Ukrainian PR Army hours after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The nonprofit fights Russian disinformation and propaganda by connecting Western journalists with Ukrainian civilians, soldiers, experts, and officials to ensure the world learns the truth about the war crimes and atrocities Russia is committing against her country.
Julia is recognized among 25 PR innovators EMEA and was awarded Future is Female award by Advertising Week and Warner Brothers Discovery.
Aliona Hlivco is a Managing Director at The Henry Jackson Society and a member of the Advisory Council at Coalition for Global Prosperity.
She is a foreign policy expert with background in global affairs and strategic communications. Aliona is a guest lecturer in various UK and US academic institutions and a regular expert voice on global affairs for international media.
Aliona has had an extensive career in Ukrainian politics, serving as an adviser to the former Prime Minister of Ukraine and holding positions in Chernivtsi Regional Parliament and the Ministry of Infrastructure. She focused on international cooperation, public-private partnerships and decentralisation. She held a public office and was a member of regional parliament in 2015-2018 before she moved to London.
Aliona holds MA in Political Science and MPA from Chernivtsi National University in Ukraine. She is a recipient of the Order of Merit for her service in supporting democracy in Ukraine during the Revolution of Dignity 2013-2014.
The Henry Jackson Society was pleased to welcome Iryna Nykorak, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament, founder of Brave Ukraine and the ARMWOMENNOW project and Julia Petryk, winner of the Future is Female award to a discussion online on the efforts of Ukrainian women fighting on the frontlines against Russian aggression in their homeland. Iryna spoke about how talking with the Ukrainian women fighting in the armed forces on the frontlines with the men pointed out that there were no soldier uniforms that catered to women and that the female fighters were wearing men sized uniforms as there were no Ukrainian manufacturers that made such uniforms for women. She went on to point out her nonprofit organization helps women in all aspects on the frontlines with the essentials that they need to defend Ukraine. Julia went on to explain her efforts with PR Army fighting against Russian disinformation to the western media with media and advocacy campaigns on what is happening on the ground in Ukraine, hearing and broadcasting the stories of real Ukrainian women who are at the heart of the conflict and living on the battlefield.
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