Olena Zelenska took part in the Fifth Ukrainian Women's Congress

First Lady Olena Zelenska opened the second day of the Fifth Ukrainian Women’s Congress. In her speech the wife of the President spoke about the results of Ukraine’s participation in the Biarritz Partnership in five areas: the development of a barrier-free public space, friendly to families with children and low-mobility groups; teaching children the principles of equality between women and men; prevention of violence; reducing the pay gap between women and men; and creating greater opportunities for men in caring for children.
Перша Леді Олена Зеленська

Ukraine has already developed a draft strategy to reduce the gender pay gap, enacted a law that equates all citizens in their responsibility for committed domestic violence and speeds up the court proceedings of relevant cases; a law has also been passed simplifying the possibility for men to take childcare leave; a working group on gender audit has been set up at the Ministry of Education and Science, the main task of which is to develop a methodology and criteria for gender auditing of educational institutions; a subvention has been allocated for the establishment of a network of specialized support services for victims of domestic and/or gender-based violence; and a barrier-free campaign is being actively realized in Ukraine.

“Equality is not only about equal rights, but also about equal opportunities and access for every member of society to any public space: airport, train, restaurant, cafe, pharmacy or business center. All of this is part of our commitment under the Biarritz Partnership and one of the major areas of my work, which is called “barrier-free space”. I will note that we have taken assured steps to make barrier-free approach a new social norm,” Olena Zelenska stressed.

According to the First Lady, many commitments have already been fulfilled, but this is just the beginning: “The state and all of us must not forget the main thing – why Ukraine joined the Biarritz Partnership. It joined it for the sake of equal opportunities, rights and freedoms for all people.”

The Ukrainian Women’s Congress is a permanent public platform that shapes the gender policy agenda for the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the government, local communities, the private and public sectors, and the media community. The main theme of this year’s event is “Women’s Leadership as a Value”.

At the initiative of First Lady Olena Zelenska, on September 11, 2020, Ukraine became a full member of the Biarritz International Partnership. The partnership was initiated by the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The main goal is strengthening the responsibility of the G7 and the consolidation of the efforts of other states to achieve equal rights and opportunities in society and guarantee the absence of restrictions on any grounds.