Women, peace, security
After the start of the war in eastern Ukraine, the number of women in the Armed Forces has been steadily increasing. As of 2021, there are more than 31,000 women serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which is more than 15% of the total number of service members.

Nevertheless, Ukraine’s security and defence sector does not sufficiently ensure the full and effective participation of women. The representation of women is growing mainly at the level of low-paid positions, such as soldier, nurse, administrative personnel, financial expert, etc.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 should increase women’s representation and access to decision-making in the security and defence sector. It recognizes for the first time that women have a unique influence in armed conflicts and peacekeeping. This resolution is being implemented in Ukraine in accordance with the National Action Plan (NAP).

Civil society must contribute to achieving the NAP goals. That is why NAKO uses its experience to explore the gender-sensitive barriers that women and men face during their service and career advancement in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Our goal is to provide specific recommendations to the Armed Forces leadership on how to ensure the equal participation of women and men in decision-making.

In parallel, NAKO is developing a gender audit methodology for financial control in the security and defence sector. In the future, this will help to check the level to which the interests of women and men were considered in various budget programs. In the long run, this methodology will also increase the effectiveness of fiscal policy, in particular in the planning and implementation of state budget expenditures, as well as reduce corruption. NAKO is cooperating with the State Audit Office to put this methodology into practice.