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Uplifting the Lives of Ukrainian Women Artisan Refugees

WFI has expanded its collaboration with the Paris Institute of Political Studies’ (Sciences Po) Research and Educational Programme on Gender Studies (PRESAGE) in 2023. Together we designed an action-research project that partners the PRESAGE team with Nest, a nonprofit supporting the responsible growth and creative engagement of the artisan and maker economy. This project brings into focus the specific situation of displaced Ukrainian women artisans.


The team created policy recommendations for states and NGOs that target their social and economic empowerment.

Looking at Ukrainian refugee migration patterns, listening to their first-hand testimonies, the project seeks to gain a better understanding of the following: what are their actual needs? How do they feel in the host society? What gaps are identified in terms of women's rights and emancipation? What are the levers to improve their well-being? What are their perspectives for the future?



Create knowledge and insight on the situation of Ukrainian refugee women artisans in wartime and suggest concrete strategies and action plans to be spread and implemented by/through Nest.



  • Desk research and remote networking with refugee and migrant women and/or programs and/or associations supporting Ukrainian craftswomenship.

  • Mapping

  • Qualitative research on the ground (travels in Europe, Poland and Germany, to meet refugee and migrant women in January 2023).


Goals and Deliverables

  • A landscape mapping Poland- and Germany-based women-focused migrant artisan businesses and organisations that support these groups

  • A report on the situation of displaced Ukrainian Women Artisans in Poland based on a desk search, qualitative analysis of interviews conducted on the ground in Poland and survey analysis

  • A set of recommendations for Nest and the European and international communities related to the

·      specific barriers and challenges met by these women

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Read the Sciences Po Student Team Blog:

Helping Ukrainian Women Artisans

"February, 24, 2023 will mark one year from the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and pursuant war which has resulted in a catastrophic loss of life and the displacement of over 8 million Ukrainians to Europe, the majority (87%) of whom are women and children. Studies show that women often hold much of the cultural heritage and knowledge in a given culture. In these times of war, where not only Ukrainian territory but also Ukrainian national identity is under attack, we want to understand how women artisans now make sense of their work..." 

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The Sciences Po Research presents their Study and Photo Gallery Exhibition on May 9, 2023

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Thank you to our supporting partners:

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Testimonials from Sciences Po Faculty:

By engaging in this project, the students gained a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by refugee women, in particular women artisans, in particular Ukrainian women displaced by war since 2021. They read the literature to discern the intricate dynamics of gender, socioeconomic agency, cultural preservation, resilience, and resistance in the context of conflict and displacement.

By organizing and conducting interviews with 26 Ukrainian craftswomen exiled across the European Union (France, Germany, and Poland) the student team gained valuable insights and learning experiences, in particular in navigating potential language and cultural barriers. Through these interviews, they got the opportunity to listen to the lived experiences, perspectives, and narratives of refugee women, enhancing their understanding of the complexities of war and displacement.

This experiential learning opportunity fostered empathy, sensitivity, and critical thinking skills among the students, strengthening their commitment to addressing social issues.

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