«The major task for women in politics is the creating more opportunities for women who will come after them», - Olena Kondratiuk, the co-founder of the Ukrainian Women’s Congress

Women-politicians, representatives of the authorities of different levels and experts shared their experience of overcoming barriers and stereotypes and analyzed the implementation of 2020 local elections gender quotas at the media marathon “Equality in politics”. The online marathon was arranged by the National Democracy Institute and became one more platform for discussing the issues of women’s leadership in politics.

Co-chairs of the inter-fractional parliamentary association “Equal opportunities”, and co-founders of the Ukrainian Women’s Congress Olena Kondratiuk and Maria Ionova joined the discussion at the marathon.

The Vice-speaker of the Ukrainian parliament Olena Kondratiuk opened the event and mentioned that despite small successful steps in improving the political presence of women, there is still a challenge of formal involvement of women in the process of decision making.

To fix this disbalance, women politicians came with the initiative of the bill about equal opportunities for women and men in the process of forming the parliament’s structure. The thing is in the parity representation of women and men among the chairmen of the Verkhovna Rada Committees. That means that the chairman and deputy chairman are to be of different sex, not less than 30% of the committee should be of different sex, the committee must never be of one sex.

«The major task for women in politics is the creating more opportunities for women who will come after us, because mentoring should be the global mission for those who achieved in front of those who try but not sure in success», – the Vice-speaker mentioned.

Maria Ionova, the People’s Deputy of Ukraine, shared her vision of improving the tools for involving women to political processes and stressed that political parties should arrange gender-sensitive inner agenda for women to become agents of change.

«I would like to hear more both from the government and from deputy ministers who are responsible for euro integrational and gender issues. But I see how active our network becomes at the regional and local levels. We see that this tool if effective and we need to make more efforts to enforce and motivate our local network», – mentioned Maria Ionova.

There are no successful countries built on inequality. That’s why the equality of rights and opportunities for women and men is one of six basic values of the European Union and one of the destinations for Ukraine on its euro integrational way. This was mentioned by the Vice Prime Minister of European and Euro Atlantic integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna.

«Unfortunately, the number of women in management positions remains low. Thus, there are three ministers in the government, and only 2 women are among the heads of regional state administrations. Moreover, the active participation of women in lower levels of government and local government still rarely opens the door to work in higher authorities. That is, today women themselves are often held hostage to the “invisible ceiling on the basis of sex.” It exists not only in Ukraine, but it also still exists in the world. We need to realize that there are no more “male” and “female” cases. It’s time to admit that a woman in politics is new normality that will change our country», – added Olha Stefanishyna.

It is worth to mention, that the parliament of the current convocation has almost twice more women than the previous one (21% vs. 12%). According to the Central Election Committee, city and village councils have no less than a third of women. Representation of women in regional councils has been multiplied by 2 since 2015 (28% vs 15%). Despite this, the digits by the World Economic forum in 2019 sign that it will take almost 100 years to overcome the world gender gap if we keep the current rate of changes.