President’s wife Olena Zelenska initiates Ukraine's accession to the Biarritz Partnership to promote gender equality. The First Lady made this statement in her speech at the Third Ukrainian Women's Congress and made a corresponding appeal to the President and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
"It is impossible to be in a global context and not to pay proper attention, not to take concrete steps in the field of gender equality," the President's wife emphasized.
The Biarritz Partnership was launched by G7 leaders at a Summit in Biarritz (France) on August 25, 2019 under the chairmanship of President of France Emmanuel Macron. The purpose of the initiative is to strengthen the responsibility of the G7 and to consolidate efforts of other countries to achieve gender equality.
During her address to the congress participants, Olena Zelenska drew attention to the positive changes that have already taken place to improve the situation of women in Ukrainian society. These include recognizing the priority of gender policy at the government level, abolishing the ban for women to a number of professions, including in the field of security and defense, adopting national legislation to combat domestic violence.
“These are significant steps. However, we have a lot to strive for. We are a European country that respects the principles of equality and considers them its value. And today I want to initiate the accession of Ukraine to the Biarritz Partnership for Gender Equality, which will allow us to mobilize and unite our efforts around the ideas of equal opportunities,” Olena Zelenska said.
Following the example of France, Germany, the USA, Canada and other countries already participating in the Biarritz Partnership, Ukraine should commit itself to combating violence, ensuring access to inclusive and high-quality healthcare and education, expanding economic opportunities for women and ensuring their full participation in political and public life.
“First and foremost, we are talking about the future of Ukrainians, about the families who need to be comfortable in combining their careers with their personal life, about the need to create a child-friendly society with appropriate inclusive infrastructure, family and child rooms. Barrier-free space is also a decent living environment for people with disabilities where the gender component must also be taken into account,” the First Lady stressed.
Finally, the President's wife called on those present to unite forces and implement a policy of equal opportunities at all levels of government in collaboration with civil society and international partners. She also thanked everyone who advocates gender equality and continues to build Ukraine of equal opportunities step by step.