On March 9, 2015, the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations introduced a photo exhibition entitled “Women in Conflict.” The exhibit was delivered from Ukraine by the Ukrainian delegation in order to show the conflict in Ukraine through a different lens – the eyes of the state’s most vulnerable population.
However, the women featured on the photos do not look or behave as such. They stand up for the independence and integrity of their country as strongly as men do. This is the message that was the uniting theme of all the statements made at the opening by the Ukrainian officials: Ambassador of Ukraine to the UN Yuriy Sergeyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Serhij Kyslytsya, as well as members of the Ukrainian Parliament Iryna Herashchenko, Iryna Lustenko and Mariya Ionova.
The approach undertaken in the preparation of the exhibit is not so typical for the Ukrainian community. The customary path, namely the depiction of men participating in anti-terrorist operations, has been significantly expanded. It allows for the realistic depiction of the impact of the conflict on communities, namely its influence of all the population groups. The attendees were able to see women-heroes, fighters, brides, activists, as well as the ones who were deprived of everything by the war.
The members of the delegation emphasized that the war would be reflected on the society even after the military actions are over. All the individuals have been seriously touched by the military actions unfolding in front of them. The trauma will be transmitted among all until the psychological challenges are addressed. The latter will only be possible if specialized psychological assistance is provided by the experts in the field. Therefore, it is crucial that the impact of war is recognized and not suppressed.
The well-being of future generations depends on the ways the population faces the above challenges. In this process, women are truly the moving force of recovery. The exhibit is another strong proof of their potential to cause change.