November, 2021 – November, 2022
Ukraine, Bulgaria, Georgia
feminist organizations, women's rights, and other NGOs, governments, national and international donors, the media.
Due to the devastating consequences of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, the project had to change its focus from overcoming the economic consequences of the pandemic to studying the impact of armed conflicts and the consequences of several crises at once on the work of women’s/feminist organizations.
The project “Read Between the Lines: (Post)pandemic Economic Effects on Women’s Rights CSOs from Bulgaria, Georgia and Ukraine ” takes a new shift with the encouragement of the donor organization – the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation. It focuses on exploring the (post)pandemic economic consequences and those related to the new crisis – the military conflict in Ukraine, for organizations working for women’s rights and other marginalized groups in Bulgaria, Ukraine and Georgia. The data collected will result in a research analysis which aim is to raise awareness of the experiences and challenges faced by women’s NGOs in the three Black Sea countries.An international research team will implement 60 in-depth interviews with civil society actors in Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Georgia. The aim is to analyse the response and resilience models related to the crises and how they influence women’s human rights protection and promotion. The initiative will inform different stakeholders about the context in which civil society operates and adapts to new realities to meet the needs of its target groups.
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 in 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.