President of Ukraine

Olena Zelenska told how gender equality is implemented in Ukraine in wartime conditions

29 December 2022 - 13:07

Olena Zelenska told how gender equality is implemented in Ukraine in wartime conditions

Continuing the summary of project activities this year, First Lady Olena Zelenska reminded that in 2020 Ukraine joined the "Biarritz Partnership" international initiative to promote gender equality.

"One of the main topics of the Biarritz Partnership is the fight against violence. And during the Russian aggression, this topic sounded differently. We live and work now in conditions of defense against the aggression of the Russian Federation. Confronting Russian terror is no reason to forget about non-military violence. About the one that comes not in the form of bombs, but in private. Now, when all of us, the whole country, know how scary and painful it is to face an aggressor, we can understand the victims of domestic violence more than ever. And we have to help them," said Olena Zelenska.

She said that there is a network of specialized support services for victims of domestic violence and gender-based violence in Ukraine. Due to the large-scale invasion of Russia on the territory of Ukraine, a part of such services, which were created in particular at the expense of a subvention from the state budget, was lost. There is an urgent need to provide assistance to victims of conflict-related sexual violence and to support women and children displaced by war.

In response to these challenges, the following was done:

  1. The Ministry of Social Policy approved changes to the National Action Plan for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 for the period until 2025; the document expanded the list of measures to provide effective and timely assistance to victims of conflict-related sexual violence.
  2. Amendments have been made to the resolutions regulating the activities of specialized support services for victims (CMU Resolution No. 1372 of December 9, 2022). In particular, these services also provide services to victims of sexual violence related to armed conflict.
  3. In the state budget for 2023, UAH 175.4 million are provided for subvention to local budgets for the development of a network of specialized services.
  4. By decision of the Cabinet of Ministers in 2022, the work of the Government Contact Center for victims of violence was improved - the hotline 15-47 was connected to a landline for calls from abroad (+38 (044) 284-19-43) to provide assistance to citizens who are outside Ukraine and need urgent information, consultation, etc.
  5. According to the National Social Service, as of December 1, 2022, there are 741 specialized support services for victims (shelters, hotlines, mobile teams, social apartments, resource centers, anonymous social and psychological assistance points) in Ukraine. In the current year, 8 shelters, 21 day centers, 26 advisory services, and 81 mobile teams were put into operation.
  6. According to the results of monitoring of specialized support services, 14,925 people received specialized services, of which 345 people, including women with children, received shelter services.
  7. Aid to victims is provided in close cooperation with international NGOs. In developing a network of specialized services, the necessary support for local executive authorities is provided by the UN Population Fund. For 2023, financial support is planned for the development of specialized services in 30 communities, including those that have been damaged since February 2022.

Olena Zelenska emphasized that another important direction within the Biarritz Partnership is overcoming the gender gap in wages.

"This problem exists even in the EU - usually such a gap is up to 20%. Last year in Ukraine we managed to reduce it to 13%. The Russian attack made this work difficult. But we do not stop it," the President's wife said.

She told what was done in this direction:

  1. The Ministry of Economy has developed a draft order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine "On the approval of the National Strategy on reducing the gender pay gap for the period until 2023 and the approval of the plan of measures for its implementation."
  2. On September 16, November 2, and November 30, 2022, 3 strategic sessions dedicated to finalizing the Strategy were held.
  3. On October 26, 2022, a webinar/round table with international experts was held to present a recommendation on overcoming the gender pay gap dedicated to the analysis of the problems causing such a gap.
  4. Based on the results of three strategic sessions, generalized proposals were formed from four parties of the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC): the state, employers, trade unions, non-governmental organizations regarding the measures necessary to achieve the strategic goals and objectives of the Strategy, which will be used to finalize the future strategic document. All proposals are currently being processed, and the draft Strategy for Reducing the Gender Pay Gap in Ukraine is being formed, which is to be completed by December 30 of the current year.

On November 1, 2022, Ukraine ratified the Istanbul Convention. This became a new stage in the fight against violence. Ratification of the Convention is a long-awaited step in the intensification of work to combat all types of violence. This will strengthen response mechanisms to conflict-related sexual violence and domestic violence. In addition, it is an additional tool for the protection of temporarily displaced Ukrainians abroad.

"Another direction of the Biarritz Partnership is ensuring the principles of gender equality in education. It is about equal rights and opportunities for all participants in the process - students and teachers. About the inadmissibility of any discrimination," said Olena Zelenska.

The First Lady reported on the work in this direction:

  1. On December 20, 2022, the government adopted the Strategy for Gender Equality in Education until 2030 and approved the action plan for its implementation for 2022-2024, of which the Biarritz Partnership is a key component.
  2. In September 2022, a corresponding survey of employees of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine was conducted regarding satisfaction with the conditions of public service given the principle of equal rights and opportunities for women and men in the personnel policy.
  3. The "Methodological recommendations for carrying out an anti-discrimination examination of the objects subject to examination for their subsequent marking by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine" was developed (approved by the Scientific Council of the Institute of Modernization of the Content of Education, Protocol No. 9 dated November 30, 2022).
  4. In December 2022, members of the Gender Audit Working Group completed online gender audit training. The examination of educational institutions will be started after the termination or abolition of martial law on the territory of Ukraine.