United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For immediate release
March 25, 2022

Joint statement by the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women on the situation of women and girls following the Russian aggression against Ukraine

The following is a joint statement delivered by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, United States Representative to the United Nations, on behalf of the United States, Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda , Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia , Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden , Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay and European Union.

We gather at the 66th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York to condemn the unprovoked aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. These actions constitute a serious violation of international law, including the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and we urge the Russian Federation, in accordance with resolution ES-11/1 of March 2, 2022, to immediately cease its aggression and to withdraw its forces from Ukraine, a sovereign state. We also condemn the involvement of Belarus in this aggression against Ukraine. We reaffirm our full support for Ukraine and its people, especially all women and girls.

Given that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine results in a serious humanitarian and human rights crisis for the civilian population, especially for the lives and livelihoods of women and girls – a pattern in all armed conflict – we are deeply concerned about the safety of civilians in Ukraine, including women and girls.

We strongly condemn the unlawful attacks by the Russian armed forces against civilian facilities, including schools, orphanages and hospitals, in particular the Russian airstrike against the children’s hospital and maternity ward in the city of Mariupol, and the civilian casualties , including pregnant women, the elderly, people with disabilities and children.

We are gravely concerned about depriving civilians of access to education and essential health services.

We are deeply concerned about the continuing deterioration of all aspects of the situation of all women and girls, in particular pregnant women, nursing mothers, elderly women, HIV-positive women and girls, indigenous women and girls and women and girls with disabilities, who face increased vulnerability due to continued aggression by Russian Federation forces.

We are gravely concerned about the increased risks of sexual and gender-based violence, trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse, and discrimination that Ukrainian women and girls face, especially in areas of Ukraine controlled by the Federation from Russia. of Russian aggression. In this regard, we are appalled by reports of alleged sexual violence perpetrated by Russian forces.

We are also deeply concerned about the short- and long-term impact of family separations on women and girls, especially as women are forced to take on additional household chores and other responsibilities while their spouses remain to fight the invading Russian forces and a large number of girls. are separated from their parents or are traveling alone.

We are also concerned about the additional risks of exploitation and abuse for women fleeing conflict.

We salute the courage of local civil society organizations, including those led by women, to respond to humanitarian needs despite the risks they face. We must also ensure that civil society groups, including women’s movements and women’s rights organizations on the ground, have the resources to play a decisive role in meeting the rights and needs of women and girls and in developing gender-responsive solutions.

We call for the protection of civilians, the safety and security of humanitarian workers, and safe, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access to those in need.

We are committed to working with the United Nations Secretary-General, UN Women, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and other relevant United Nations agencies or entities as well as the ICRC, to integrate a gender-sensitive approach the full, effective and meaningful participation of women at all levels in all our efforts to respond to the conflict in Ukraine: immediate humanitarian response, crisis response, and longer-term peace and security efforts.

In conclusion, we echo the calls of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous and Special Representative Pramila Patten to end this war and commit to doing their utmost possible to maintain the leadership and rights of women and girls in Ukraine. at the center of our collective efforts to mobilize for peace.