Beyond the Numbers: Women’s Rights Organizations in the (Post)СOVID World          

жінки ковід реагування

The Ukrainian Women’s Fund consistently supports the women’s/feminist movement in identifying its needs, responding to challenges, and integrating into the global mainstream. Together with three women’s funds in the Black Sea Region, we are launching a large-scale study of the impact of COVID-19 and the economic changes caused by the pandemic on organizations that protect women’s rights and promote gender equality.

Statistics and the stories that explain them will be collected simultaneously in three countries. Bulgarian Fund for Women, Taso Foundation (Georgia), Women’s Fund in Georgia and the Ukrainian Women’s Fund join forces within the “Read Between the Lines” initiative to document the economic consequences of the pandemic for women’s/feminist organizations, to make forecasts, and to offer recommendations and solutions to stakeholders.

The pandemic has displayed and amplified gender inequality: women received additional caregiving work, women were at the forefront of the coronavirus counteraction – and numerous women have been losing sources of income and the opportunity to be heard. The same thing happened to women’s rights organizations. Communities, authorities, and decision-making centers took the participation of CSOs in the fight against the pandemic for granted but did not rush to involve them in planning for the future, pushed the issue of protection of women’s rights to the periphery of social and political interests. Funding for important areas of human rights has been reduced, redirected, or suspended. It’s not only about the numbers, but also about the fate of millions of women, children, and men who have lost faith for justice.

The experience of developing the “Strategy for Response of WROs and the Women’s Movement to COVID-19 and Its Consequences” in 2020 has proven that when the movement not only responds to urgent needs but has a vision of development, far-sighted goals, it becomes resistant to attack and shock. Cooperation between the four women’s foundations will allow the women’s/feminist movements of Ukraine, Georgia, and Bulgaria to assert themselves more loudly at the local, national, and international levels; share the best models of crisis response and resilience.

“Read Between the Lines: (Post)pandemic Economic Effects on Women’s Rights CSOs from Bulgaria, Georgia and Ukraine” is funded by the Black Sea Trust, a Project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.