The Women’s Brain Project strongly condemns the invasion of Ukraine, the resulting humanitarian catastrophe and the potential for a world war.
Our thoughts are with all the people impacted by this crisis. It’s imperative to negotiate for the immediate cessation of the war, while establishing safe passage for humanitarian assistance, including access to food and water, as well as life-saving medical supplies for trauma, injuries and serious illness.
The Women’s Brain Project (WBP), is an international non-profit organisation (based in Switzerland) studying sex and gender determinants of brain and mental health to achieve precision medicine. While we remain an apolitical, neutral organisation driven by science, we abhor the use of violence or war, and we call for a peaceful resolution to this conflict.
Looking at wars and invasions through the lens of mental health and wellbeing, the consequences are always disastrous. The trauma, fear, and anguish Ukrainians are facing place an immense strain on people’s mental health. The same is true on a global scale when humanity is threatened and paralysed by the use of nuclear weapons.
Women and children are often disproportionately affected in times of conflict. Moreover, the traumatic experience of war is amplified on those suffering from brain disease and/or mental illness (e.g. dementia, anxiety).
“I have been introduced to the art of neuroscience by Ukrainian scientists”, says our CEO Dr. Antonella Santuccione Chadha. “Our team consisted of Russians, Byelorussians, Germans, Chinese, English, Indians. Our brains worked together to ameliorate human conditions. This is what our collective intellect should be use for; absolutely not to generate wars.”
Today, 8 March 2022, is International Women’s Day and on this day our thoughts are particularly with the women and children impacted by this crisis. The war in Ukraine is threatening civilian lives, breaking up families and numerous displaced women many with children are now refugees, with no idea when they will see their husbands, fathers and brothers again. Refugees also have specific health needs and vulnerabilities, and it is vital that their health needs are addressed. Those who have stayed to provide humanitarian support in extremely difficult circumstances are at great risk themselves.
Ms. Alia El-Yassir, the UN Women Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, told us:
“In only 10 days, more than 1,5 million people – vast majority women, children and elderly – have fled Ukraine because of the war. This is the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. Pre-existing gender gaps and intersecting forms of inequality make many women and girls more vulnerable to the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding in Ukraine and beyond. It is imperative for the international community to adequately respond to the crisis, particularly through assessing and addressing the circumstances and needs of displaced women and girls, in all their diversity.”
On behalf of the Women’s Brain Project, we ask you to consider making a donation through one of the channels below to help set up relief efforts to help civilian casualties and refugees in the region.
UN Crisis Relief
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees- The UN Refugee Agency
UNFPA Ukraine Appeal to support women and girls affected by the crisis
International Committee of the Red Cross
The Women’s Brain Project is also committed to supporting our fellow scientists and researchers in the neurological field impacted by the current situation facilitating hospitality across borders.
Slava Ukraini! #StandWithUkraine