Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Responding to the Invasion of Ukraine: The Impact of Feminist Foreign Policies
Register on Zoom


Note: Registration closes April 21, 3:00pm EDT (New York).

Presented by the Women and Gender in Global Affairs (WGGA) Network at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights and the Permanent Missions of Sweden and Ukraine to the United Nations. Join policymakers, analysts, and practitioners to discuss concrete measures for feminist responses to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Cosponsored by UN Women, Permanent Missions of Canada and Germany to the UN, and Columbia University’s Gender and Public Policy Specialization, Kent Global Leadership Program on Conflict Resolution, International Security Policy Concentration, Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, and Harriman Institute.



Richard Arbeiter, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Canada

Anna Karin Eneström, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Sweden

Sergiy Kyslytsya, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Ukraine

Antje Leendertse, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Germany

Kateryna Levchenko, Government Commissioner, Gender Policy, Ukraine

Oksana Pokalchuk, Executive Director, Amnesty International Ukraine

Oksana Potapova, Women’s Rights and Peace Activist, Ukraine

Åsa Regnér, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women


Background and Focus

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than 10 million people have fled or become internally displaced, families have been split, basic services disrupted, and we hear deeply shocking reports of massacres, sexual and gender-based violence, and human trafficking. Like all wars, this one, too, appears to be predicated on gender— conventionally mobilizing mostly men to the front, while assigning primarily women and children to civilian quarters or to refuge abroad. Yet we also see how these gender distinctions are sometimes scrambled, how the dissent in Russia often seems to involve women, how Ukrainian women are continuing to participate in their country’s public affairs and also taking up arms.

What is happening today in Ukraine is having an immediate impact on the lives of millions and is going to have a long-term structural impact on Ukrainian society, the region, and globally. Who is represented and what is discussed around the decision-making tables in the military, political, humanitarian, and peacebuilding processes will be critical in determining whether the war’s vast gender implications are taken into account.

Countries with a Feminist Foreign Policy play a vital role in addressing the war in Ukraine, given their dedication to feminist and gender-responsive approaches throughout their foreign policies. They can not only forestall the inequities that this invasion exacerbates and mitigate their consequences, but also support any positive gender dynamics that may emerge. In a time when foreign policies are being put to the ultimate test—a time of war—what are Feminist Foreign Policy countries doing to ensure that gender is at the core of their response?

This webinar is intended to bring together policymakers, analysts, and practitioners to discuss concrete measures for feminist responses to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We seek to foreground the voices of Ukrainians most directly affected by the conflict and with the deepest knowledge of the situation; at the same time, we also recognize a responsibility to attempt to shape the policies of our own governments.