The event in Odesa was attended by Iryna Gerashchenko – First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Ukrainian President’s Commissioner for Peaceful Settlement of the Situation in Donetsk and Lugansk Regions, MPs – Co-chairs of Inter-Factional Deputy Association in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine “Equal Opportunities” Aliona Babak, Svitlana Voitsekhovska, Maria Ionova and Olena Kondratiuk.
The government was represented by Gennadiy Zubko – Vice-Prime Minister & Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utility Services of Ukraine, and Odesa Regional State Administration – by its Chair Maksym Stepanov.
Representatives of international organizations and embassies, as well as active and successful women and men from politics, business and non-governmental sector from Odesa, Mykolayiv and Kherson regions were invited to participate in thematic discussions.
The Congress became a platform for uniting the efforts of all participants and stakeholders around the idea of ensuring gender equality in various sectors of the Ukrainian society as a basic element of the country’s sustainable development.
During the discussion on empowerment of women in politics at all levels, the participants analyzed the results of decentralization, discussed the problem of underrepresentation of women at the most recent UTC elections and the possibility of addressing this problem through legislative fixation of quotas and introduction of penalties for non-compliance with the quotas.
As part of the discussion platform dedicated to gender-oriented budgeting, participants cited successful examples of opportunities to increase the number of female entrepreneurs and employed women using gender-sensitive principles in the formation of local socio-economic development projects and infrastructure facilities. This tool will meet the needs of families with children, the elderly and other public categories.
The speakers of the Congress discussion platform dedicated to gender stereotypes and discrimination discussed the impact of such stereotypes on women and girls, as well as how discriminatory phenomena impede with professional and personal fulfillment. According to the speakers, the presence of a large number of gender stereotypes in education and media is the result of discriminatory phenomena in the Ukrainian society, such as sexism, misogynia, faceism, ageism, and beautism.
In addition, studies on gender equality as a global trend, expansion of women’s economic participation and anti-discrimination were presented at the Congress.
The next regional congresses will take place in the fall of 2018 in Lviv and Kharkiv. The Second Ukrainian Women’s Congress with the participation of the state elite, foreign guests, international missions, representatives of business, public sector, and media will be held on 7-8 December 2018 in Kyiv.
The Ukrainian Women’s Congress in Odesa was held at the initiative of Inter-Factional Deputy Association in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine “Equal Opportunities” in partnership with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the UN Women Program, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), and the “Gender Budgeting in Ukraine” Project.