Talk | 10 Treffen: Herstory Treffen

Women at War

Herstory Treffen in Ukrainian in white letters on a black background

The feminist paradigm today focuses on women’s rights in Ukraine, sexual violence during war, and protecting human rights. At the same time, volunteers, servicewomen, writers, directors, leaders, artists, doctors, musicians, scientists, etc. have taken on the mission of spreading abroad the truth about the war against the Ukrainian people.

This event is part of the Herstory Treffen.

Until 31 December 2023 available as videoon demand in the media library.

Women are a visible part of the war in Ukraine, not only as refugees or survivors. In the last decades the number of Ukrainian women in the army, politics, human rights organisations, volunteer leadership, civil society and in the economy has increased rapidly. Currently, a quarter of the Ukrainian army are women. At the same time, the gender paradigm is undergoing a change, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, along with other citizens, are defending Ukraine both in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and in territorial defence. They also participate in volunteer initiatives and paramedic groups. Although Ukrainians remain a largely homophobic society, the visibility of women in social movements and in the army is increasing the possibility for social change.
The nine-year-long Russian-Ukrainian war of liberation has both a female face and a male face at the same time. Or rather, many female and male faces. Moreover, it also has a multinational, a multireligious, and a multigender face.

Biographies of the participants:

Before the war, Kateryna Pryimak worked at the Center of Contemporary Art. In 2014, she joined the ranks of the Volunteer Ukrainian Corps, m/s “Hospitallers”, in which she worked as a paramedic as part of the evacuation brigade for 11 months (Pisky, Butivka Mine). Upon her return, she worked in television. In 2018, she and her sisters began work on the formation of the Women’s Veteran Movement. Currently, she is studying for a master’s degree at the Kyiv School of Economics in the programme Public Policy and Governance. She represented Ukrainian veterans at the UN (CSW 63 in New York, Beijing + 25 in Geneva) three times. Today, she performs the duties of the Head of the Women’s Veteran Movement. She is also an activist of the “Invisible Battalion” advocacy campaign. Kateryna Pryimak was awarded the Order of Princess Olga, 3rd class, and the Medal for Assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. She is also the laureate of the Euromaidan SOS award and the Gongadze award.

Yuliia Paievska (call sign Taira) is a Ukrainian military servicewoman, paramedic, volunteer and commander of the “Angels of Taira” unit. During the Revolution of Dignity, she was a Euromaidan medic, and she has been a volunteer paramedic since 2014. Since 2015, she has been the commander of the volunteer unit “Angels of Taira”; contract with the Armed Forces of Ukraine (2018 – 2020). The beginning of the Russian invasion in 2022 was met in Mariupol. Yuliia Paievska (Taira) provided assistance to hundreds of wounded soldiers and civilians, transporting them to hospitals. On 16 March 2022, during the siege of Mariupol, she was captured by Russian forces. On 17 June 2022, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that she had been released after three months in captivity. Yuliia Paievska (Taira) is a member of the Ukrainian Invictus Games, Warrior Games team, and won two gold and one bronze medal in Orlando. In 2022, she founded the charitable organization Mriya Ukraine Foundation. She received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and was included in the BBC’s „100 Women” list in 2022. Yuliia Paievska (Taira) was named a laureate of the International Women of Courage (IWOC) award.

Gesine Dornblüth is a freelance radio journalist, author for Deutschlandradio (Germany’s nationwide public radio) and other public stations and currently part of Deutschlandradio’s competence team reporting on Russia’s war against Ukraine. She specialises in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and has been reporting from the region since the early 1990s: Political analyses, feature stories and long-term documentaries. From 2012 to 2017 she worked as Deutschlandradio’s correspondent in Moscow and is now based in Berlin. Gesine holds a PhD in Slavic Literature. Her new book “Jenseits von Putin. Russlands toxische Gesellschaft” (with Thomas Franke) is a Spiegel-bestseller.

Kateryna PryimakParamedic, activist and Head of the Ukrainian Women Veteran Movement
Yuliia Paievska (Taira)Military servicewoman, paramedic and commander of the volunteer unit “Angels of Taira”
Gesine DornblüthWriter and freelance radio journalist

Host Heike WinkelCultural scholar, project manager, member of the project group Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe at the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb

The event is funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb.

Informational support by the Ukrainian Institute.