Entertainment And News

Ukrainian Women’s Magazines Replace Beauty Tips With Guides For Home Births, Finding Children & Reporting Wartime Rape

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Ukrainian people evacuating

As war rages on in Ukraine and Russia continues its assault on the country, the need for relationship, fashion, and career advice has quickly gone out the window.

In an attempt to continue publishing content that is relevant to their readers, popular women’s magazines have taken a new approach that reflects the truly harrowing reality women are facing in Ukraine.

Ukrainian women’s magazines have switched to publishing wartime articles for women.

Popular women’s publications like Marie Claire Ukraine, Elle Ukraine and Vogue Ukraine have all switched from their normal advice columns into wartime advice columns, iNews reported.

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The beauty section of the Marie Claire website has swapped out its normal makeup tips and skincare hacks into publishing stories like “What to do in the case of radioactive contamination,” “First aid kit essentials” and “How to give birth at home in war conditions.”

The popular fashion website, Vogue, used to feature catwalk looks and high-fashion photography but now shows articles like “Danger for women at the border: What to know and how to behave.”

Elle features articles like “What to do in case of injury,” “How to help people with anxiety” and “What to do in case mobile communication and internet get disconnected.”

Ukrainian bloggers are also offering practical advice for women.

A viral Instagram post from blogger Anya Bobrovitska tells women in Ukraine where to seek gynecological help in times where they can’t reach their doctor, where to source sanitary products and how to report a rape in a warzone.

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These are just some of the examples of how hard women are also being hit in times of war, where it’s imperative that they understand how to maneuver through the toughest of times.

Websites and magazines that would normally never cover these subjects now have a moral obligation to help however they can.

Marie Claire Ukraine's editor-in-chief recognizes the vital need for this new editorial strategy.

“For the first two days of the war we didn’t know what to do,” Iryna Tatarenko says, “but then we realized we had a powerful resource in our magazine to help answer women’s questions about this new military reality they’ve found themselves in.”

“Readers need support and answers from experts to questions that even the mighty Google is unable to answer,” she said.

As people are evacuating the country, women are sometimes forced to give birth in metro stations without sanitary products or food for their children.

“Right now, pregnant women can’t even feel safe even in maternity hospitals as Russian soldiers are shelling those too,” Tatarenko continued.

There have been reports that Russian soldiers are raping women who are still occupying Ukraine, and experts have warned that cases of sexual violence are likely to rise.

But there is some solace for women in the fact that the war is being fought on ends that aren’t just the military front.

“I’m proud of contemporary Ukrainian women,” Tatarenko said. “Our brand manager Katerina and photographer Lisa are waging an information war against the aggressor and blocking propaganda channels.”

Journalists are risking their lives to report up-to-date information about the attacks, enemy movements and refugee efforts.

“Beauty editor Olga donates blood,” Tatarenko said, “she has enlisted in the Kyiv Territorial Defence League, and continues to write news for the website.”

Women everywhere are working together to ensure each other’s survival and to help wherever they can lend a hand.

Ukrainian women are facing unimaginable struggles in the face of the Russian invasion and many need our help.

UN Women has established a fund to address the needs of Ukrainian women and girls by working closely with women’s civil society organizations. Please donate what you can here.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.