Sweden allocates €5 million for gender equality in Ukraine


Sweden allocates €5 million for the development of gender equality in Ukraine. The money will go to support the work of the newly established Office of the Government Commissioner on Gender Equality. The project will continue for four years. The agreement was signed by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, executive Director of UN Women program, and Martin Hagström, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Sweden to Ukraine, at a press briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Our major challenges are to increase women’s involvement in political life, improve the mechanism ensuring their presence in the Ukrainian leadership. Now women have very little influence on decision-making and key processes in Ukraine,” said Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration.The project involves monitoring the current state of gender equality in Ukraine and dynamics of social changes, a pilot project to introduce the post of councilors in law enforcement agencies, enhancing institutional capacity and better coordination of all structures that ensure gender equality. “We realize that Ukrainian people cannot cope alone with such radical reform involving changing social consciousness and breaking gender stereotypes. But you are not alone in this way, we are there and ready to help and support you,” underlined Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. She added that she considers investments made by the government of Sweden in Ukrainian society to be one of the most stable and long-term, because it provides a qualitative change in the living standards of future generations.

Gender equality does not focus solely on women, it provides for equality between both genders. “When we talk about gender, we are not talking only about women; we are talking about protecting the rights of all citizens of Ukraine. For example, men in Ukraine live much shorter lives than women, and this issue also needs attention,” said Martin Hagström.

In addition to the Swedish government, Ukraine receives a significant support for the establishment of gender equality from the government of Canada. The Association of Women Police was established on June 9. “In each of our project, we include an element of introducing gender equality as a conscious position of Canada. On June 6 Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, announced gender equality and feminist approach to international relations a priority of our foreign policy,” emphasized Roman Waschuk, Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine.

The quality of life is enhanced through improved gender situation. In Ukraine, the majority of the population is women, but the government uses the potential of minority. Potential of the majority, that is women, is not sufficiently involved. “Human rights and equal opportunities are the values for which people went to Maidan. And it was the Maidan and the Russian aggression that clearly showed that Ukrainian women as well as men are able to fight for freedom, democracy and independence. Women led the volunteering, women joined the ranks of the Armed Forces, they went there as volunteers. At that particular time the Ukrainian society formed its request for the increased women leadership in politics, economy and other spheres,” stressed Ms. Klympush-Tsintsadze.