Kremenchuk was not accidentally chosen as the first city for the regional Dialogue – it is a big industrial center in the Poltava region, and it was the best fitting place for the topic “Women leadership in business and its influence on the region’s development”.
Co-founders of the Ukrainian Women’s Congress Svitlana VOITSEKHOVSKA, the people’s deputy of Ukraine (2014-2019), Olena KONDRATIUK, the Vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Maria IONOVA, the people’s deputy of Ukraine, opened the regional Dialogue at Kremenchuk. Alona BABAK, the Minister of Communities and territories (2019-2020) moderated the event.
«Dialogue is a great possibility to hear and understand each other and share the values, becoming united for the common goal. The successful dialogue starts from finding the compromise and ends with consensus. We created a special dialogue platform in 2017 – the Ukrainian Women’s Congress – and here we discuss the issues of equal rights and opportunities for women and men. Congress has become a permanent platform that forms an agenda on the gender policy for the Verkhovna Rada, Government, local authorities, private and public sectors, and media community. We do not have centralized, required topics, but we build an example of horizontal communication. And today is the day when we work with economic challenges for women on the local level, equal and fair access of women and men to economic resource allocation, etc.», – Olena KONDRATIUK, the Vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, mentioned in her speech.
Maria IONOVA paid special attention to the fact that the level of income for women had decreased significantly, because women are mainly involved in service, and it stopped working during the quarantine. «Instead of this, business ruled by women may play an important role in the economic recovery of the countries and create new workplaces. Additionally, developing women’s potential can help to faster overcome the consequences of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic: if we respond to the crisis by encouraging gender equality, we can see the GDP growing by 13 billion dollars by 2030», – mentioned Maria IONOVA.
Svitlana VOITSEKHOVSKA stressed the women’s solidarity in her speech. «I’ve always believed in sister movement – and now I do. This is when women help and teach each other. The support of the sister movement in Ukraine is one of the missions of the Ukrainian Women’s Congress, and regional dialogues are part of this support. I hope that we can meet at the 5th Ukrainian Women’s Congress offline», – said Svitlana VOITSEKHOVSKA.
Olena YENA, the director of the program “Women-leaders” by the National Democracy Institute also had the greeting word. «We are proud of our partnership with the Ukrainian Women’s congress and thank the leaders of this organization for their many years of work on involving women to decision-making at different levels. This is extremely important for a democratic country, and this is the things Ukrainian are aimed to today», – she highlighted.
Olha USANOVA, the deputy mayor of Kremenchuk, had a special speech in front of the participants: «Kremenchuk city council pays special attention to gender equality issues because people are the most valuable resource we have. Our task is to create the best conditions for every member of our community. Women are an active but vulnerable part of our society. They try to get a chance to develop like professionals, public activists and also like mothers for their children».
The Ukrainian Women’s Congress prepares the practical guide considering the results of the Dialogue. This guide will contain the recommendations with the vision of steps for effective economic recovery on the local level that will be sent to the authorities of different levels and communicated via different media channels.
The event is organized by the NGO “Ukrainian Women’s Congress” as part of the project of the National Democracy Institute (NDI) due to the generous support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada.