The economic security of women changed in the war. It is more difficult for them to ensure their own stability and the stability of the family against the threats associated with the war: it is more difficult to find a place in the labor market, family and raising children take a lot of time. Economic capacity affects confidence, self-esteem and is highly related to psychological well-being.
The war increases economic vulnerability of women and increases the risk of falling into a crisis situation. In the first months of the war, women provided themselves with financial resources accumulated before the invasion, which allowed them to survive. However, protracted hostilities, the impossibility of returning to destroyed or temporarily occupied housing deplete reserves. Such components of economic stability as work, income, and housing have been lost.
For many, the time has come for critical tests and changes. Women who live near areas of active hostilities feel more vulnerable — they have signs of multiple vulnerability. IDP women are in dire need of housing, and rent accounts for most of the expenses. Salary and social benefits remain the only minimum source of income. Most women try to satisfy basic needs first: utilities, food, medicine. They do not spend on leisure and recreation. Even the actual treatment is postponed for “later”.
However, even from the minimum income, they will contribute to the Armed Forces. Loss of documents is systemic for IDP women. Female unemployment in villages is a particularly acute problem. As a result of instability, the share of women who see the achievement of economic security only in employment abroad is growing.
Some women show readiness to retrain and master new professions. There are organizations that provide funds for business projects. But women are afraid because of lack of experience, lack of understanding how business works. Information about available programs for employment, retraining or business creation should be made more accessible. There is a part of women who had their own business before the full-scale invasion, they retain a high motivation to restore it or start a new one.
Unfortunately, preference is given to men during employment and career development. Employer gender stereotypes continue to affect women’s economic opportunities. It is worth including the gender component in economic programs outside special women’s programs. Women need support for increasing emotional stability, knowledge about protecting their own rights, and planning their own budgets. Training and retraining programs should be developed for them to master professions in which there are still prejudices regarding the employment of women.
It is worth promoting business relocation, training, and support of women’s entrepreneurial activities, digital and financial literacy. It is also the time for amendments and additions to the legislation regarding the mandatory introduction by employers of measures against discrimination based on gender, sexual harassment at the workplace and other manifestations of gender inequality.