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Global gendered impacts of the Ukraine crisis on energy access and food security and nutrition

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The war in Ukraine has had devastating impact on women and girls worldwide, widening gender gaps, and increasing rates of food insecurity, malnutrition and energy poverty.

The ensuing cost-of-living crisis has acutely threatened women’s livelihoods, health, and wellbeing and stymied progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. It has been propelled by the war’s disruptions of oil and gas supplies and staple food commodities, including wheat, corn, and sunflower oil, alongside the skyrocketing food, fuel, and fertilizer prices. Alarming increases in gender-based violence, transactional sex for food and survival, child marriage (with girls forced to leave school), and women’s and girls’ unpaid care and domestic workloads are further endangering women’s and girls’ physical and mental health.

This brief reviews the available evidence, recommending urgent attention to its consequences for women and girls. It is complementary to the briefs produced by the UN Secretary-General’s Global Crisis Response Group on the consequences of the war in Ukraine and the global response and recovery.

Its findings underline the global impacts on gender equality and women’s rights that have been compounded by climate change, environmental degradation, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The brief concludes with recommendations for essential measures to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, by promoting women’s participation, leadership, and decision-making and ensuring food availability and energy access for women and girls and their communities everywhere.