From 24 February 2022, when the Russian Federation’s armed attack against Ukraine started, to 7 August 2022, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 12,867 civilian casualties in the country: 5,401 killed and 7,466 injured. The conflict has caused the world’s fastest growing displacement crisis since World War II, with nearly 13 million people uprooted in less than two months. Over a quarter of Ukraine’s population have fled their homes, including more than 7.7 million people now estimated to be internally displaced and over 5.2 million people who have crossed borders to seek security and safety in other countries, most of them women and children.(OCHA Ukraine Flash Appeal March-August 2022). The war is impacting women and men in different ways and is exacerbating pre-existing inequalities, according to a Rapid Gender Analysis by UN Women and CARE. Ukraine’s population has a distinctly gendered profile, with 54 per cent women and 46 per cent men, including a particularly large population of older females. Prior to the escalation of the war, 71 per cent of the heads of households in Government controlled areas were female. Women from groups in vulnerable situations are being left behind and disproportionately affected by disruptions caused by war, while the displacement and refugee flow is largely gendered. The threat of gender based violence—including conflict-related sexual violence, sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and human trafficking—has risen exponentially since the war began. Two thirds of women in Ukraine had experienced some form of gender-based violence in their lifetime before the conflict and the deterioration of the security context has sharply increased the risk of multiple forms of violence, Gender-Based Violence has been identified as a critical protection concern in Ukraine emergency with the absence of clear and confidential reporting mechanisms reported cases of violence have become a great problem while lack of official statistics on cases of GBV represents a major concern. In addition, the current risk of continued incidence of GBV, including sexual violence, remains high. Women and girls IDPs are especially vulnerable.
The GBV Sub-Cluster is part of the Protection Cluster and, through it, is fully accountable to the Humanitarian Coordinator