Press Release

UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine, Denise Brown, message for the International Women’s Day

07 March 2024

enise Brown met in Kryvy Rih a group of young mothers who were forced to flee Kherson City
Caption: In her first trip in Ukraine in August 2022, Denise Brown met in Kryvy Rih a group of young mothers who were forced to flee Kherson City, at the time under Russian occupation.
Photo: © UN / Saviano Abreu


The women of Ukraine, their determination, have truly inspired and encouraged me since the day I arrived in this country.  

In each and every one of my many travels across Ukraine, whether it is to a war-torn community close to the front line or a town in the West where people fleeing the horrors of Russia’s invasion sought refuge, I see and hear stories of determination, hope and solidarity led by strong Ukrainian women. I am a witness to the fact that women in Ukraine – at all levels – refuse to give up and are relentless in their work to promote a better future for their country. 

I have been inspired by women in leadership positions, both at the national Government and local level, like the women representatives I met in front-line towns like Kherson, Mylove or Orikhiv, who spare no effort and overcome tremendous challenges to bring some relief to their communities torn apart by the war. It motivates me to see that women are the backbone of the humanitarian response and work non-stop to help their communities under extreme hardship, like the doctor I met in Siversk, in the Donetsk Region. Despite all the risks, she decided to stay there, fearing not the bombs and missiles but the fact that it would be, otherwise, almost impossible for people in her community to access health care. I met so many mothers who had to learn how to support their children who could no longer go to school, at the same time as, with compassion, caring for the sick, the disabled, the elderly and filling the gaps left by a social system massively disrupted by the war.

I met in Kramatorsk, Kharkiv and Uzhhorod so many fierce and inspiring women leading organizations and movements advocating for the rights of the people of Ukraine, and striving to ensure no one is left behind, particularly the most vulnerable, including people with disabilities, the Roma or LGBTQIA+ community. 

And again, they are taking up these massive challenges at a time when they face higher levels of unemployment, a larger and persistent gender pay gap, heightened risk of gender-based violence and obstacles to accessing essential services.

Women are as important at the decision-making tables as they are at the frontlines of their communities. For this reason, the UN is committed to continuing our efforts to support them and create platforms at different levels to ensure women have a leading role in Ukraine’s economic and social recovery. 

Saviano Abreu

Saviano Abreu

UN Ukraine Spokesperson / Strategic Communications Advisor

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
United Nations Population Fund

Goals we are supporting through this initiative