Summary: Digital empowerment of women as a response to the crisis and an accelerator for the sustainable recovery of Ukraine
The COVID-19 pandemic and large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine deepened pre-existing inequalities and exposed the vulnerabilities of women in the social, political and economic spheres. Women face greater risks to their security and protection and suffer from gender-based and conflict-related sexual violence. Along with the challenges in accessing essential services, women must also carry the burden of household and caregiving responsibilities as well as increased pressure to provide for their families in the absence of men who have joined the Armed Forces.
In the context of the pandemic-related restriction measures and mass displacement of the population due to hostilities, digital skills and resources play a crucial role in the socioeconomic resilience of the affected populations. However, the ability to benefit from digital tools also depends on the issues of affordability, accessibility and digital literacy.Women face additional barriers regarding digital literacy and their access to digital solutions. Accordingly, they require targeted support to ensure they are not left behind in the country’s digital transformation.UN Women supported the Ministry of Digital Transformation in increasing women's digital skills, especially the vulnerable, and strengthening their resilience amid the pandemic and war. Investment in the digital empowerment of vulnerable women in the context of war contributed to their increased resilience to the socioeconomic and security situation and, in the long run, to reduced inequalities and a diminished gender digital divide. Investment in equipping the digital hubs and increasing librarians’ digital capacities allowed for the creation of a sustainable mechanism of practical support on digital solutions for a wide range of vulnerable women.