Women of Ukraine: International Women’s Day in Moldova

8 March, 2022

IsraAID Moldova

Since the conflict began, more than 230,000 people have traveled from Ukraine to Moldova seeking refuge. It is estimated that 89% of all Ukrainian refugees in Moldova are women and children, as almost all men remained behind to fight.

This International Women’s Day, we spoke with women both at the Ukrainian border and at a temporary shelter in a Chișinău stadium. These profiles celebrate the strength and resilience of the many women – both from Ukraine and around the world – forced to take their lives into their own hands and flee. They may not make for easy reading, but they are stories we have to hear. Today, on International Women’s Day, and every day.

 

M* is in her 40s and arrived to Palanca on the Moldovan-Ukrainian border with her 9 year old daughter from Nikolayev. The city saw heavy bombing. They saw a picture of a family that had been killed on the road that went from Nikolayev to Odessa and decided then they had to escape.

She has an older daughter elsewhere in Europe who’s in her early 20s. She left her husband behind in Nikolayev. He’s in his late 50s and all men under 60 are being forced to stay in case they need to fight. She wants to bring her daughter to be with her sister and then go back to be with her husband. Her biggest worry is what might happen to him.

*Name withheld to protect privacy

Natasha is a mother of two from Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. She fled her home with her sister and their four children, taking another two children with them whose mother was not able to leave Ukraine. Natasha told IsraAID that she could not leave the children behind.

Milana is 21 years old and mother to a six-year-old. She is eight months pregnant and very excited to soon have a girl. Before the invasion, they already had a difficult life in Ukraine. Milana is now hoping for a place of their own with her mother because there is little privacy in the sports center.

This is Christina. She is 22 years-old and mother to a two-year-old. Christina lived in Odessa in a nice house with her mother and family and said she had a good life in Ukraine. They left everything behind. She dreams of reaching Germany where she believes they will receive more help. Christina is worried about the lack of privacy in the stadium and said she feels trapped. She is hoping for a baby carriage to walk outside with her son.

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Photo credit: Mickey Noam Alon

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