Feminist Foreign Policy

Women in Conflict Zones: Lessons from the War in Ukraine

Feminist Foreign Policy


Nov 30, 2023 / Vienna / European Security and Defence / Global Affairs

Panel 1 with Christine Muttonen, Tetyana Kudina and Inna Shevchenko

The AIES had the honor to host an event entitled "Women in Conflict Zones: Lessons from the War in Ukraine".

It was organized together with the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs on Thursday, 30 November 2023 at the Vienna School of International Studies.

The aim of the AIES event was to shed light on the role of women in conflict situations and to recognize their influence on peace processes, as well as to discuss how this influence can be strengthened in the future. The discussion points of the event were to highlight the situation and role of women in particular in Ukraine since the Russian invasion as well as in Afghanistan, the promotion of women's active participation in peace processes and the potential of feminist approaches to achieve equality and freedom for all.

This was held as a follow-up event to mark the 30th anniversary of the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights. A high-level symposium entitled "Vienna World Conference 30 Years On: Our Rights - Our Future" took place in Vienna on 6 June 2023, organized by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs in cooperation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The high-level symposium marked the beginning of a series of follow-up events that will take place between the symposium and the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10.

Ambassador Christian Strohal, former Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and the moderator of the event Christine Muttonen, Vice-President of the AIES, former President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, former Foreign Policy Spokesperson of the SPĂ–, gave welcoming remarks.

This was followed by Panel I on the topic of women as agents of change. Inna Shevchenko, Head of FEMEN Ukraine, Tetyana Kudina, Head of Programmes of UN Women Ukraine and Tamara Zlobina, Head of Expert resource of Gender in Detail Ukraine presented their experiences of women in the conflict region of Ukraine. They emphasized their leading roles and gave insights into their work and challenges and discussed their efforts to promote gender equality and democratic values.

Panel II on Women, Peace and Gender Justice was followed by Anna Hess Sargsyan, Head of Conflict Resolution at the Austrian Center for Peace and Victoria Fontan, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies and Vice-Rector at the American University of Afghanistan.They discussed the effective promotion of women's participation in peace processes, including the implementation of these concepts in European foreign and security policy, as well as feminist approaches to achieving equality and freedom for all.

We would like to thank our outstanding speakers for their valuable contributions!

Panel 1 with Tamara Zlobina online

Panel 2 with Christine Muttonen, Anna Hess Sargsyan and Victoria Fontan