Young Women’s Forum 2022

Terror, aggression, occupation, sexual violence, economic losses are an ongoing reality affecting women and men in nearly every armed conflict. War in Europe brought many topics to the surface, role of women is one of them.

Women affected by armed conflict are victims of gender-based violence, peace and reconstruction actors, and combatants or members of the armed forces, volunteers or refugees. These and other topics were discussed at the Young Women Forum 2022, organized in cooperation with the European Youth of Ukraine, NGO.

Amsterdam, 26-29.10.22

The event was designed as a 4-day study session that aims at empowering young women influenced by the armed conflicts of the 21st century in different parts of the world. The project helped to build the network of 24 young female change makers to support or create local initiatives on topic of gender equality and support of women at times of war. 

The uniqueness of the Forum is that it united young females from MENA region and Europe. Among featured countries were activists from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Cyprus, Georgia and Ukraine.

Beeld: D66

During the event participants had discussions with such honored speakers as Anne-Floor Dekker, Program manager Gender, Peace & Security, WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform; lieutenant-colonel Elisabeth van der Steenhoven, Dutch Ministry of Defense and MEP Samira Rafaela. 

Skill building workshops by the organizers and Hoba Gull, Policy Advisor to Samira Rafaela MEP, as well case studies of the Ukrainian women-led NGOs which help women in military, composed the second part of the event.

As a result participants shared their experience, learned some new skills and presented their projects of 5 initiatives in support of women who suffer from the armed conflicts.

Beeld: D66

Promotion of women equal participation in the armed forces, peace-making processes; full involvement in politics, peace and security structures; refugee support; contribution to prosecution of war crimes and generally adequate representation at all levels of decision-making must be strategic goals of national governments to prevent or resolve armed conflicts.

Kate talks about her experience

I was lucky enough to become a participant of the Young Women’s Forum, which took place in Amsterdam from October 26 to 29.
The forum brought together strong, inspiring women from Europe and Asia. During these days, we discussed the problems faced by women during the war and ways to solve them. In this, we were helped by extraordinary professional women who had direct experience in these areas.

Also, I want to note how friendly and safe this forum was for all participants, especially for those who have faced war and violence.
The organization of the event by D66 and EYU was at a high level. All deadlines and schedules were met, which is very important for an international event.

I highly recommend events from these organizations; I hope to participate in the next ones.

Author: Iryna Akhmedova