Public Lecture (in English): Women's Participation in Defending Ukraine in Russia's War

07. Jun

07. Juni 2023, 16.00 – 17.30 Uhr, Hörsaal 3

The Euromaidan protests in 2013-2014 inspired women in Ukraine to fight more actively for their rights, especially in the military sphere. When the war in Donbas started, women joined the front lines as volunteers, journalists, medical staff, and the military (in combat positions). The lecture examines the successes and challenges of gender equality implementation in the Ukrainian armed forces over the last nine years and the multitudinous forms of resistance exercised by Ukrainian women during the current war. Women’s involvement in war could be analyzed from two major perspectives – agency and victimhood. Women are not only victims of the situation, those who suffer from war and belong to vulnerable groups. They are also actors of resistance, those who have agency and participate in different activities. In response to Russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, women remain active: results of a public opinion survey (January 2023) demonstrate that most Ukrainian women are willing to resist with arms.

Dr. Tamara Martsenyuk holds Ph.D. in Sociology; she is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine). After evacuation from Kyiv, Tamara was hosted by Free University Berlin. In the 2022-2023 academic year, she is a visiting scholar at Leuphana Universität Lüneburg (Germany). Her research interest relates to gender and social structure, including women’s participation in the protests and women’s access to the military. In 2015-2023 Tamara (with the research team) conducted sociological studies called “Invisible Battalion” that demonstrated the successes and challenges of gender equality implementation in the Ukrainian armed forces and the military education, the status of female veterans, and the problem of sexual harassment in the military. Martsenyuk is a member of the International Sociological Association (ISA), the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN), and other professional bodies. She authored chapters in Gender, Politics, and Society in Ukraine (2012), New Imaginaries: Youthful Reinvention of Ukraine's Cultural Paradigm (2015), and other books. Her papers have been published in Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, Problems of Post-Communism, and others.