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'One year on we still see you, women of Ukraine'

Collage Tiny Kox and Maria Mezentseva

On 8 March 2022 PACE President Tiny Kox, in an open letter to the head of Ukraine’s PACE delegation Mariia Mezentseva entitled “We see you, women of Ukraine”, expressed his solidarity after the start of the war of aggression against her country.

“In the past year, tens of thousands have been killed or wounded, including women and children. On behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly, I wish to pay tribute to all of them, as well as to the women serving in the Ukrainian armed forces, civil services, rescue and reconstruction organisations and healthcare structures, standing strong against the Russian aggressor,” the PACE President said.

“Today, after a year of relentless attack on their people and land, the courage, dignity, creativity and resilience of Ukrainian women is a beacon of hope for us all. I am proud to be speaking alongside Ms Mezentseva, to congratulate her on her election as Chairperson of the PACE Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, as well as on her country’s ratification of the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention and its implementation despite the war. Our Ukrainian women parliamentarians have been tireless in fighting for their country in our Assembly and beyond,” he said.

“PACE has been crucial in supporting Ukraine and its people and in giving a platform for our women to be represented, supported and heard,” said Mariia Mezentseva.

“On the eve of International Women’s Day, on behalf of the mothers, sisters and families of the many thousands of children forcibly displaced by the Russian authorities, stolen from their homes and cultures, we call for immediate action to put an end to this war crime and to bring their sons and daughters back. We also stand in solidarity with all the women and girls of Ukraine who are now refugees in our member States,” Ms Mezentseva and Mr Kox concluded.