The Baltic Sea Initiative for the Development of Business Activity of Refugee Women

The Resilient Spirit of Ukrainian Refugee Women in Poland

13 March 2024
Presentation of the survey results within the BSI_4Women Project action.
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The Resilient Spirit of Ukrainian Refugee Women in Poland

What are the results of the BSI_4Women survey in Poland?

In the wake of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Poland has become a sanctuary for over 1.2 million Ukrainian refugees. Among them, women stand out as a significant demographic, showcasing resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity. This article delves into the lives of these courageous women, their journey toward integration into the Polish labor market, and the support systems in place to aid their transition.

The Ukrainian Women’s Exodus to Poland

The typical Ukrainian refugee woman in Poland is a testament to strength and perseverance. Fleeing the turmoil of war, these women, often accompanied by children, have sought refuge in the Podkarpackie Region’s urban and rural communities. The men who accompany them, generally over the age of 60, contribute to family care, while the women explore avenues for economic integration and stability.

Support Systems and Integration

Poland has extended a helping hand to these newcomers through a variety of support mechanisms. Material aid, language assistance, job placement services, and social adaptation help are readily available, thanks to the concerted efforts of numerous institutions and non-governmental organizations. Furthermore, access to the Polish healthcare system ensures their well-being during this challenging transition.

Professional Skills and Entrepreneurial Aspirations

The survey results illuminate the rich tapestry of skills and professional expertise these Ukrainian women possess. With backgrounds in audit, finance, accounting, graphic design, medicine, translation, IT, project management, education, fitness training, and fashion design, they are well-equipped to contribute to the Polish economy. Many have entrepreneurial ambitions, fueled by their attributes of responsibility, creativity, communication, problem-solving, adaptability, leadership, and technical know-how.

Facilitating Economic Integration

Recognizing the potential of these skilled individuals, specialized training programs have been established to facilitate their economic integration. Expert advice and workshops on business setup, legal considerations, and industry-specific language courses are crucial in paving the way for these women to enter the labor market as entrepreneurs.

These women are not just seeking refuge; they are actively looking to integrate into the Polish labor market and society. The survey indicates that they possess a diverse skill set, including responsibility, creativity, communication, problem-solving, adaptability, leadership, and technical expertise, with professional backgrounds in fields such as finance, IT, education, and healthcare. This positions them well for entrepreneurship and employment in various sectors. The survey results highlight a strong demand for support in business formalization, with 16 votes for expert advice/workshops on setting up a business and 13 votes for specialized language courses, reflecting the need for guidance in navigating the complexities of establishing a business and the importance of language proficiency for operating in specific industries. Despite their skills and expertise, there is a recognized need for further training and development. The survey shows that 19 respondents are unsure of their knowledge in formalizing startups, 33 believe they have sufficient knowledge, and 48 acknowledge the need for improvement. Additionally, the survey reveals that refugee women in Poland are actively seeking employment, with the majority indicating that they are not currently working but are looking for jobs.

The survey also underscores the importance of thematic discussion groups, with varied perspectives on their effectiveness as a means of acquiring knowledge and skills. This suggests a need for tailored educational approaches that consider the differing opinions and preferences of refugee women.

The Ukrainian refugee women in Poland are not just survivors of a conflict; they are active participants in their new communities, eager to contribute and grow. Their journey is one of transformation, marked by the pursuit of new opportunities and the creation of a stable future for themselves and their families. As they navigate the complexities of their new lives, their indomitable spirit and the support of the Polish people stand as beacons of hope and collaboration.