Peace and Security: Women Leaders on the Frontlines

Peace and Security: Women Leaders on the Frontlines


Cities Alliance and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) host the online event ‘Women Leaders on the Frontlines: An Exchange on Women’s Local Leadership in Peace, Recovery and Reconstruction Processes.’


Date: 16 May 2023

Time: 14:00 – 15:30 CEST

Link to register


The discussion aims to promote dialogue and share lessons learned between women from Ukraine and other countries that have experienced war and navigated post-conflict challenges. 


“The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine has exacerbated existing inequalities.”


Ukrainian women and girls are increasingly vulnerable to displacement, loss of livelihoods, poverty, violence, and trauma. Yet women have mobilised across the country – whether serving with the army on the front lines or providing humanitarian aid to families and communities, to ensure their survival and support recovery initiatives.


Despite their active contribution, women remain largely absent from formal decision-making processes, including those related to peacemaking and reconstruction. Their priorities and needs often go unheard, which is especially true for the most vulnerable such as self-employed and informal economy workers. As a result, their interests are under-represented and their valuable skills and knowledge are unused.


“Women’s inclusion and active participation in peace, recovery, and reconstruction processes are key to achieving better outcomes, before, during, and after conflicts.”


A key challenge in this regard will be reinforcing the ability of Ukrainian municipalities to meet both their short-term reconstruction needs and longer-term planning for inclusive and sustainable recovery. Within this process, women must have a seat at the decision-making table to ensure their perspectives are included.


The exchange, supported by the Association of Ukrainian Cities and NALAS, will provide a platform to learn from cities across the world that have implemented gender-sensitive recovery and reconstruction processes, as well as to discuss possible challenges and barriers to women’s participation in decision-making in ongoing recovery efforts, especially in Ukraine. 



  • Fatma Şahin, Mayor of Gaziantep, Turkey, and President of the Union of Turkish Municipalities (TBC);

  • Renata Kosec, Mayor of Domžale, Slovenia;

  • Nataliia Kholchenkova, Head of International Relations, City of Chernihiv, Ukraine;

  • Ritchelle Fortunus, Partnership and International Cooperation Officer, City of Cap-Haitien, Haiti;

  • Tetiana Melnyk, Association of Ukrainian Cities, Kyiv, Ukraine;

  • Katarina Kresal, Founder, European Centre For Dispute Resolution, Member of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network and former Minister of Interior, Slovenia;

  • Eliza Hoxha, Professor at the Architecture University of Prishtina and Deputy Member of Parliament, Kosovo.



  • Giulia Maci, Gender Specialist and Programme Manager Euro-Mediterranean region, Cities Alliance

  • Jaimie Just, Citizenship Team Coordinator / Equality and Diversity Adviser, Council of European Municipalities and Region (CEMR)