Soon women soldiers in Ukraine will be able to serve on Navy ships – Serhiy Nayev

The number of women in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is increasing, now it is one fifth of the total personnel. However, there is still work to be done on the issue of equality between men and women in the defence sector. Speakers spoke about this during the panel “Women in security sector and peacebuilding” at the Fifth Ukrainian Women’s Congress.

Societies where there is gender equality and human rights are accessible to all are safer and have a better chance of a sustainable, prosperous, and stable peace. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ann Linde noted. She stressed the importance of realisation of the National Action Plan for the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Resolution.

OSCE Special Representative on Gender Liliana Palihovici noted that wars and catastrophes lead to the loss of lives and homes, and women, in particular elderly women and women with disabilities, tend to suffer more. It is necessary to take into account the needs of different categories of the population and consider their different characteristics.

It is important to work in partnership with public organizations and more actively involve women in negotiations on conflict resolution, said Liliana Palihovici.

The Women, Peace and Security Resolution and other legislative initiatives promote equality, increase the involvement of women in the resolution of conflicts and post-conflict situations.

Women in Ukraine have got better access to military education – Lieutenant General Serhiy Naev The commander of the Joint Forces of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reports.

According to him, today one fifth (20.1% of the total number of the Armed Forces of Ukraine) are women servicemen and civilian workers. Moreover, women make up more than 10% of the total number of personnel involved in the Joint Forces Operation.

About 8,000 women have received the “Combatant” status since 2014, more than 6,000 women have been awarded state and departmental awards and distinctions.

“We strive to increase operational efficiency by making use of high-quality skills and abilities of women servicemen,” said Serhiy Nayev. He added that women can be effective leaders and commanders.

There were also restrictions on service on ships of the Ukrainian Navy. “But the American ships that we expect to incorporate in the Ukrainian Navy will have appropriate living conditions for women servicemen,” said Lieutenant General Serhiy Nayev.

Still, there are very few women in the leadership of the Armed Forces, although many women deserve it, according to Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Yulia Laputina. According to her, the solution to this problem is a complex issue. Nonetheless, according to the Minister, compared to 2014, Ukraine is improving very fast.

This opinion is shared by the Ukrainian Parliament Member Mariya Ionova. According to her, in 2014 there were a lot of unanswered questions as the new social groups emerged. For example, women who performed combat functions were not enlisted in combat positions, and women veterans who did not have the “Combatant” status. “In 5-6 years, we have radically changed the situation,” said Mariya Ionova.

In 2020, on the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on “Women, Peace and Security”, Ukraine adopted the second National Action Plan for the implementation of the Resolution.