These actions included: the Paramedics of Maidan Initiative led by Dr. Olga Bogomolets, a Legal Initiative organized by singer / musician / activist Ruslana Lyzhychko; Kitchens popped up with supplies and food to feed the protestors; a Mother's group where mothers stood between protestors and police, holding signs that read "Our children are on both sides of the barricades;" a hotline called Maidan SOS was organized by a young woman in response to the kidnapping of protestors; the Guards of the Hospitals — a huge group of women who stood watch in shifts to protect wounded protestors from being kidnapped from hospitals, tortured and killed by President Yanukovych's personal police; an initiative to find and coordinate free medical treatment abroad for wounded protestors; and an initiative to smuggle wounded protestors out of the country for medical treatment.
As the protestors grew angry and frustrated with the opposition leaders for holding endless and ineffective negotiations with President Yanukovych, while at the same time his police units used increased violence that created an atmosphere which was quickly escalating to the level of street battles, many women joined the men on the barricades to prevent Ukraine from being dragged into a civil war.
When the Yanukovych government started to use snipers and the first killings took place on Maidan, women created a "Bullet Proof Vest Making" initiative where dressmakers from the fashion industry, prestigious boutiques and costume makers from the National Opera came together to make bullet proof vests.
As the protests continued, women organized themselves into "companies" of one hundred to carry out more dangerous tasks. Starting with the first day of Russian occupation and hybrid war aimed to destabilize the situation in cities like Odessa, Kharkiv, and Mariupol, women were among the first to try to prevent the conflict. By networking, they were able to equip and support the so-called "Units of Self Defense."
When war erupted in the East, March 2014 – present, women used their network to equip the Ukrainian Army and volunteer battalions. They provided food and supplies to the soldiers, medical support to the wounded, facilitated the evacuation of civilians, cared for the orphans and refugees, and transported the fallen home.
Many women joined the armed forces to fight as soldiers.
The task which lays before Ukraine's women today is to convert the power that they have achieved into a political force which will allow them to be equally represented in running their country.
Please check the blog to learn more about the initiatives of women who were portrayed in this film or with whom Olha Onyshko worked as a volunteer while making this film.