Finnish Design Shop continues to support UN Women’s work in Ukraine

This International Women’s Day, Finnish Design Shop continues to support the women of Ukraine with a donation to UN Women Finland. Please consider donating yourself – with our help, UN Women and its partners can address the needs of women and girls in this time of war.

Ukrainian woman kisses the cheek of the child in her arms
UN Women has worked in Ukraine since Russia's invasion began on the 24th of February 2022, helping Ukrainian women and their families. Photo: UN Women / Serhii Korovainyi

THE WAR IN UKRAINE has lasted for over a year, and over 8 million people have had to leave their homes. Ukrainians are still in need of our help. On International Women’s Day 2022, Finnish Design Shop and Franckly donated 20,000 euros to aid UN Women’s work in Ukraine. This year, we encourage all design lovers to make a donation: we will double the contributions made by our community up to 20,000 euros. No donation is too small to matter!

Last year, UN Women and its local civil society partners helped over 37,400 women and girls all around Ukraine. Design Stories talked to UN Women Finland’s Executive Director Jaana Hirsikangas to learn more about the organization’s work in the country, and how it will continue going forward.

• Read more: Finnish Design Shop supports UN Women Finland to advance equality >

Ukrainian refugees with backpacks and suitcases
Millions of Ukrainians have already been forced to flee their homes. Most of the internally displaced and those who have fled to neighboring countries are women and children. Photo: UN Women
Two persons embracing at the Ukrainian border
As the war drags on, the need for safe spaces, financial aid, and psychosocial support becomes more prominent. Photo: UN Women / Aurel Obreja
A volunteer packing supplies
UN Women also supports those who have fled to neighboring countries. Volunteer Anastasia Robuleț packs supplies at the Moldovan border. Photo: UN Women

Russia's war against Ukraine has been raging for over a year. What kind of help do the women of Ukraine, including those who have fled to neighboring countries, need right now?
“At the beginning of the war, what is most needed is emergency assistance – like food, water, and shelter – but as the war drags on, the focus shifts to providing safe spaces and financial aid. In crises and conflicts, women are exposed to heightened risks of gender-based violence and human trafficking. Women’s care burden also increases, and they are under added pressure to provide for their families while men are on the frontline.

“In crises and conflicts, women are exposed to heightened risks such as the risk of gender-based violence.”

UN Women provides Ukrainian women with grants, training, and resources for livelihood and employment. We have also strengthened services for victims of sexual violence and supported women's organizations and local groups that organize safe spaces for those who experience gender-based violence as well as victims of sexual violence.”

A woman wiping her tears and holding a baby in her arms
UN Women has supported the creation of multi-purpose centers around Ukraine that offer a variety of services from psychological counselling to childcare.Photo: UN Women / Aurel Obreja
A volunteer handing out supplies
When planning humanitarian aid, it is important to consider the special needs of women and girls, such as hygiene supplies. UN Women promotes women's participation in decision-making.Photo: UN Women / Aurel Obreja
A Ukrainian woman showing a box of supplies and standing next to a JCI volunteer
UN Women cooperates with local civil society organizations that already have networks in place for quick distribution of aid. Photo: UN Women

UN Women also supports women’s participation in peace processes and decision-making of humanitarian aid. Why is this so important?
“If women and women’s organizations are shut out from the decision-making processes of humanitarian aid, there’s a risk that the special needs of women and girls are not taken into account. For example, food aid does not consider the needs of newborns or those who are pregnant or nursing, or provide specific products, such as menstrual and hygiene products. Humanitarian work also does not take into account the provision of services to women who have experienced violence: it could be psychological support or sexual and reproductive health services.

We also want to ensure that the aid reaches particularly vulnerable groups, such as Roma women, sexual and gender minorities, single mothers, female veterans, and women with disabilities.”

Ukrainian woman using her phone
Access to Internet and digital services is crucial for displaced Ukrainians to get information about humanitarian aid, state benefits or legal support. Photo: UN Women
A volunteer packing supplies
Many of those who fled to Moldova continue their journey to Romania and other EU countries. Stela Vodă works as a volunteer on the Romanian-Moldovan border. Photo: UN Women
Ukrainian refugee showing a picture on her phone
UN Women distributes information to women about support services and their rights also in Moldova. Angela, who fled from Mykolaiv to Moldova, shows a picture of her grandchildren.Photo: UN Women / Maxime Fossat

Finnish Design Shop’s theme this International Women’s Day is “women’s place is also online”. How does this manifest in Ukraine in this time of war?
“Many women have additional challenges related to digital literacy and devices, which prevent them from benefiting from digital services. This might be due to their age, health, or education level, for example. Without access to the Internet, women cannot get information about humanitarian aid, state benefits, or legal support for refugees and other war-affected groups. These women need particular support so that they do not fall outside the reach of these services.

“Without access to the Internet, war-affected women cannot get information about support and services.”

UN Women has offered vulnerable groups of women training on digital tools and services that can be used, for example, to search for information, look for work and maintain social relationships. Such groups include women with disabilities, women over 65, and single mothers. With the support of UN Women, four community-based digital centers have also been established in connection with libraries and village councils, where women in vulnerable positions can access the Internet and digital devices.”

Ukrainian woman staring at the camera wearing winter clothes
Last year, UN Women and its local partners delivered aid to more than 37,400 women and girls across Ukraine. As the war is rages on, help is still needed.Photo: UN Women / Aurel Obreja

What: UN Women

  • UN organization for gender equality, established in 2010
  • More than 200 development projects in more than 90 countries
  • Advocates for the empowerment and human rights of women and girls
  • Also supports girls and women in conflicts, disasters, and peacebuilding

Illustration by Anastacia Sholik
Finnish Design Shop and Franckly wish to support women and their families in Ukraine via UN Women Finland and kindly ask you to participate.

Lend a helping hand

Join Finnish Design Shop and Franckly in helping Ukrainian women and their families. Please consider donating a sum of your choice – we will double every euro donated between 8–21 March 2023, all the way up to 20,000 euros.

Make a donation:

UN Women Finland's emergency fund for Ukraine >

Edit: Emmi Ratilainen Illustration: Anastacia Sholik

Previous story
Next story

Sign up to Finnish Design Shop’s newsletter and enter a monthly gift card prize draw!

Sign up

For the love of design

Design Stories is Finnish Design Shop's own online magazine, that takes you to beautiful Nordic homes, introduces new products and beloved icons – and much more!

Go to the Design Stories front page

Shop Nordic design

Design Stories is provided by Finnish Design Shop, the world’s largest online store specialized in Nordic design.

Discover our selection

Buy & sell authentic vintage is a curated online marketplace for pre-owned design maintained by Finnish Design Shop.

Find treasures at Franckly