The war in Ukraine is displacing millions of people. Many women and children are leaving the country. But, there are also women who have stayed behind and been on the frontline of the war in Ukraine – as fighters and as medics. They are tenacious in defending their homes and their country from Russian attacks. Who stays? Who leaves? And, what motivates the women who stay to fight?
The role of women fighting against Russian forces is not unique. In the Congo, they push back against warlords. In Afghanistan, they counter the Taliban. In conflict zones around the world, who are the women who fight back? And, who are the women who don’t? Journalist Cosima Gill and war reporter Julia Leeb are co-hosts of a German-language podcast on the female perspective on war and conflict called “Women in War.” Join us for a virtual discussion with them on Thursday, May 12 at 11 am ET.
Cosima Gill is a television journalist, reporter, and social media expert. Since 2018, she has contributed to ARD’s program “Kontraste” and she has been an on-air reporter for the current affairs news program “Aktuelle Stunde” since 2017.
Prior to this, she was a reporter and journalist for n-tv and RTL where she also reported from many European countries. In 2014 and 2016, she lived and reported from India for several months – for ARD and Deutsche Welle, respectively.
Ms. Gill began her career as a journalist working as a free-lancer in Bonn before going to university in Geneva where she studied international relations. She also holds a Master’s Degree from King’s College in London, where she focused on security studies and south Asia.
Julia Leeb is a photojournalist and filmmaker. The emphasis of her work is on regions in political upheaval. She has done long-term projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and Sudan. Her report on women living under the rule of a warlord in the jungle of the DRC was nominated for the Peter Scholl-Latour award.
Ms. Leeb studied International Relations and Diplomacy in Madrid. After graduation, she worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy in Rome. In order to deepen her knowledge of the Middle East, she moved to Egypt to study Arabic and conduct at the Institute for Peace Studies.
Ms. Leeb returned to Germany where she graduated from the media academy BAF in Munich. Since then she has worked as a war reporter focusing on the revolutions and wars in the Arab world. Later she extended her geographical reach and published the book “North Korea: Anonymous Country“ which was featured on National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal, and other renowned international publications. In Germany, the book was nominated for the national Photo Book Award.