The Ukrainian Women’s Congress initiated the discussion about the economic participation of women in Zaporizhzhia

The Ukrainian Women’s Congress continued the series of regional events dedicated to the most urgent issues of economic recovery and overcoming the consequences of the global pandemic.

Zaporizhzhia regional Dialogue united the representatives of local authorities and enterprises to have a dialogue about economic challenges for vulnerable groups of women: Roma women, disabled ones, and women from village territories. The representatives of the state authorities and relevant ministries joined the meeting.

The opening speeches were held by the co-founders of the Ukrainian Women’s Congress: Svitlana VOITSEKHOVSKA, the People’s Deputy of Ukraine (2014-2019), and Maria IONOVA, the People’s Deputy of Ukraine. Alona BABAK, the Minister of Communities and Territories (2019-2020), was the moderator of the Dialogue. Olena ZHUK, the Head of the Zaporizhzhia regional council, joined the discussion.

«The traditional business works to raise income for owners, but when we talk about social entrepreneurship we can see this income being invested to achieve some big and significant purpose. There are 3 main features of social entrepreneurship: social goal, innovations, and income distribution. The geography of companies of this type spreads all over Ukraine but most of them are in Kyiv, Lviv, Poltava, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions. That’s why we are not tired of being grateful to our partners who keep supporting the Ukrainian Women’s Congress’s Dialogues, particularly this one in Zaporizhzhia», – mentioned Maria Ionova during the opening of the Dialogue by the Ukrainian Women’s Congress in Zaporizhzhia.

The deputy also mentions that there are other possibilities in the topic of social entrepreneurship:

  • The Parliament works on a bill that regulates this system, especially its tax component;
  • This type of business can engage resources that are still not engaged by traditional businesses: people with disabilities, national communities, internally displaced persons, and youth. Most of them are women.

«The topic that we cover today is urgent and very sensitive. All the issues connected to women’s entrepreneurship put women in danger in the period of the pandemic. And the main one is loss of income. The situations of domestic violence and oppression of women facing multi-discrimination have grown significantly during the pandemic. Every woman experienced discrimination at least once in life, but women from vulnerable groups overcome it every day», – said Svitlana Voitsekhovska.

Olena Zhuk, the head of Zaporizhzhia regional council, took part in the discussion and mentioned: «Zaporizhzhia regional council has 30% of women in this convocation and this is just the beginning. Great logic is in the fact that there are more and more women in authorities and business, especially in top management». According to the head of the regional council, there are 2 key issues: the pandemic that decreased the immunity level not only of people but of businesses and companies too, and the location of the Zaporizhzhia region near the frontline zone.

«Women play the role of mediators and protectors who can change history”, – concluded Olena Zhuk.

Considering the results of the meetings during the event the Ukrainian Women’s Congress is going to prepare a practical guide for the realistic steps to be made on the local level to support effective economic recovery. Congress will send these recommendations to the government and other authorities and will inform society about the results of the Dialogue.

The first regional Dialogue was in Kremenchuk, which is a big industrial center of Poltava oblast, and the topic was “Women leadership in business and its impact on region’s development».

The events are 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.

You can watch the video on the Ukrainian Women’s Congress’s resources: