Research on gender equality in Ukraine

July 2024
Research on the well-being of Ukrainian women in partnership with Biasless

A Ukrainian woman in the third year of a full-scale war — what is she like? How does she assess her psycho-emotional state, shape her work-life balance and what does she pay attention to? How does she perceive the contribution of other women in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, donate, and the rights of which vulnerable groups she is ready to support? Gradus Research, together with Biasless, conducted the second survey of the well-being of Ukrainian women, identified key changes in their behavior compared to last year, and traced new trends.

"The results of the survey show us several important insights into the lives of Ukrainian women during the war. The first is that women in Ukraine have little awareness of themselves as a vulnerable group whose rights need to be protected. This is complemented by the second fact: most of those who face barriers in their professional lives do not talk about them because they consider them irrelevant. The third fact somewhat evens out this balance, because we see that in the third year of full-scale war, women are paying more attention and time to themselves, looking for a new balance between high workload, responsibilities, and the desire to grow in their careers and as leaders," comments Evgeniya Blyznyuk, sociologist, CEO&Founder of Gradus Research.

"In the 2024 questionnaire, we have added a measure of women's desire and readiness for career growth and leadership in Ukraine. After all, today's realities demand it, and true gender equality is possible when women's voices are represented, powerful, and influential in the top management of businesses, the state, and the non-governmental sector. We saw that 50% of women respondents consider themselves ready for responsibility and change-making, while 46% of women are slightly less willing to do so. Leaving the war and economic instability aside, the women we interviewed named 5 factors as obstacles to this, which can be grouped under the umbrella of the "Imposter Syndrome". This, in turn, is fed by conservative gender biases and norms, which we will have to work on counteracting for at least the next 50 years," explains Iryna Rubis, the initiator of the survey, head of Biasless, trainer and diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging strategist.

Despite high levels of stress, women are increasingly concerned about their health and taking time for themselves

45% of Ukrainian women surveyed, up from 37% in 2023, said they are increasingly concerned about their own health — a trend that is growing despite the high level of stress reported by 45% of respondents.


At the same time, women in Ukraine are spending more and more time on themselves (18% of respondents, compared to 13% last year). This is despite the fact that their lives are increasingly burdened with caring for family members and friends (33% now, 30% in 2023), their main job (24% vs. 14%), and additional work/part-time jobs (21% vs. 14%). This indicates that women tend to allocate their resources more wisely and prioritize self-care.

The trend towards improved work-life balance among Ukrainian women is also confirmed by the fact that more and more respondents feel they have a strong ability to "switch off from work" at the end of working hours (51% vs. 39% in 2023). And 50% declare that they are already satisfied with the balance they have established between work and personal life.

For professional fulfillment, Ukrainian women primarily lack peace (53%) and economic stability (38%)

These factors are followed by a number of reasons that are within women's personal control: lack of self-confidence (29%), courage and determination (28%), knowledge (18%), and networking (15%).

It is worth noting that only 4% of respondents said that gender bias hindered their professional fulfillment, while 63% of women surveyed believe that the level of respect and equality for females in Ukraine is improving.


Nevertheless, more than half (60%) of Ukrainian women surveyed, roughly the same as last year (59%), have experienced situations of inappropriate treatment at work, most often involving devaluation of a woman's opinion and contribution to a common cause, or taking credit for a woman's ideas or activities. However, only 25% of respondents reported them to their managers. The main reason for not reporting such cases is the lack of confidence that the complaint will be taken seriously (37%, which is 12% more than in 2023). 31% of respondents, in turn, feel that the behavior/offense is insufficient to warrant a complaint, 23% fear that it will only make the behavior worse, and 19% are concerned that a complaint will negatively impact their career.

About half of the Ukrainian women surveyed (46%) are actively seeking career growth, leadership roles in project and organizational management, and an increase in their level of influence and responsibility.

And 42% of respondents named the war as the main obstacle that hinders women's professional fulfillment in leadership roles.


82% of respondents are convinced that women in the Armed Forces of Ukraine make a contribution that is useful for all women in Ukraine

Thus, 70% of respondents believe that women in the Armed Forces of Ukraine demonstrate that a woman's place is where she wants it to be — 6% more than in 2023. And 41% (compared to 33% in 2023) are convinced that the service of women in the military makes females’ contribution to the Victory visible and significant.

People with disabilities, war veterans, and people over 55 years old are the groups whose rights, according to the respondents, both they and the state should protect the most

29% of women respondents are ready to support the rights of people with disabilities, and they expect the same participation from the state (28%). About a quarter of the respondents noted the need to expand the rights of war veterans, both by contributing to this personally (24%) and with the active volvement of the authorities (26%). The rights of people over 55 years old are supported by 22% of women surveyed, and 19% believe that the state should do more to protect them.

31% of respondents are convinced that the rights of all vulnerable groups, including ATO/JFO combatants, women, young people under 22, neurodiverse people, IDPs, LGBT+ people, national/racial/religious minorities, etc. should be actively protected by the state, and 22% are ready to support their protection personally.

The survey of Ukrainian women's well-being was conducted by Gradus Research in cooperation with Biasless using a self-completed questionnaire in the Gradus mobile application. Target group: women aged 18 and older living in Ukraine, except for the temporarily occupied territories and territories where military operations are underway. The sample reflects the structure of the target group by age, macro-region and settlement size. Period of the field: Wave I — 6-8 April 2023; Wave II — 17-23 May 2024. Sample size: Wave I — 1029 respondents; Wave II — 1168 respondents.

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