First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska has reviewed the achievements of Ukraine during its first year of participation in the Biarritz Partnership.
At the initiative of the President's wife, Ukraine joined the G7 project on September 11, 2020, identifying five areas in which it has committed to regulatory and legislative progress:
1. Prevention of domestic and gender-based violence.
2. Creating more opportunities for men to take care of children.
3. Reducing the gender pay gap.
4. Teaching children the principles of equality between women and men.
5. Development of barrier-free public space, friendly to families with children and less mobile groups.
Zelenska said that there are achievements in each of the areas in 2021.
Thus, in the field of prevention of domestic and gender-based violence:
• a law that enforces and establishes equal responsibility for domestic violence has been passed;
• the term of administrative detention for domestic violence was increased to 10 days;
• courts are allowed to hear cases of domestic violence without the participation of the offender;
• the State Social Program for Prevention and Counteraction to Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, as well as regional programs were approved;
• a subvention in the amount of UAH 274.2 million for the establishment of 30 shelters, 38 day care centers, 58 counseling centers to support victims of domestic violence was provided. Existing institutions are being repaired and reconstructed;
• the 1547 government hotline to assist victims of violence was audited, the reception of appeals was optimized and specialists were trained;
• a separate 1547 hotline website was created. The total number of calls to the hotline as of the beginning of December 2021 was 11,176.
To create greater opportunities for men to take care of children, a law on equal opportunities for child care has been adopted, which provides for:
• 14-day leave for fathers at the birth of a baby;
• a possibility of a three-year paid leave after childbirth for both parents;
• equal right of father and mother of children under the age of 14 or children with disabilities, single mothers and parents to have reduced working hours;
• equal right of women and men who have two or more children under the age of 15, a child with a disability or an adopted child to go on additional 10 days of paid annual leave.
To reduce the gender pay gap:
• Ukraine joined the EPIC – Equal Pay International Coalition;
• a draft national strategy for equal pay until 2024 was developed and submitted for approval.
To teach children the principles of gender equality:
• The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine is developing a draft strategy for the implementation of gender equality in education until 2030;
• an expert opinion for any discriminatory content in textbooks and curricula, which were submitted to the Ministry of Education and Science during the year, was presented;
• the Plan of Gender Audit of Educational Institutions was developed and a working group was created to conduct it.
To develop a barrier-free public space, friendly to families with children and less mobile groups:
• draft amendments to the Public Building Standards "Inclusiveness of Buildings and Structures" were developed;
• monitoring and assessment of the inclusiveness of facilities has been started;
• the Album of Barrier-Free Solutions, a guide to planning and building an accessible environment, is created.
"The Biarritz Partnership is not a club of conversation, but a club of action. We have made these commitments and we will definitely take substantive measures to ensure that every Ukrainian man and woman has equal opportunities and for Ukraine to appear in the world reports on equality only as a successful case," Zelenska said.