“The new reality – the new opportunities” Ukrainian Women’s Congress resolution

The world has changed. COVID-19 has not just influenced everyone’s life but made us look at the existing problems from a new angle, brought new challenges but new opportunities. Ukraine should be proactive in overcoming the pandemic and its consequences. That’s the reason for Ukrainian Women’s Congress to actualize social discussion aimed to find new solutions and opportunities for ensuring safe life for women and men. And that could be possible only if there is responsible and effective political leadership on every governing level.

Ukrainian Women’s Congress has defined the following priorities considering new social and political circumstances:

To political parties:

  • to ensure gender quotas the level of not less than 40% in the process of local elections as established by law;
  • to provide fair resource allocation for equal participation of women and men in the elections and to create special opportunities for female candidates for engaging resources for their campaigns;
  • to overcome political bullying, sexism and other forms of discrimination and unfair political opposition which affects business reputation and encroach on the honor and dignity of people;
  • to include the issues about equal opportunities for women and men and principles of non-discrimination and ethical attitude into the parties’ statutes, domestic policies and political programs;
  • to stimulate engaging women who stopped their work in the political organizations to take part in the elections process as candidates and to develop organizations for women’s leadership close to parties.

To the Central Election Commission:

  • to provide appropriate explanations on combating sexism and discrimination in the electoral process to political parties, territorial election commissions, and precinct election commissions;
  • to include the issues of equal rights and opportunities for women and men, inclusive policies and anti-discrimination into the process of territorial election commissions and precinct election commissions preparation;
  • to ensure appropriate security measures for all participants of the election process in terms of overcoming the coronavirus infection spreading;
  • to ensure appropriate inclusive conditions for people with disabilities in the election process.

To the mass media:

  • to ensure objective coverage of the election process in media including inadmissibility of using gender stereotypes, the objectification of women candidates, and any other discriminatory statements.

To the central and local governments:

  • to ensure equal access for women and men to decision-making by including into the pandemic headquarters those of them who are responsible for the implementation of state gender policy, as well as gender advisers;
  • to have consultations with gender experts during the development of policies and budget programs, as well as to involve organizations for human rights and women into the decision-making process;
  • to ensure prompt informing at the national and regional levels about COVID-19 with statistics divided by sex, age, place of residence, disability, etc;
  • to ensure informing about all available resources and services for domestic violence victims during the quarantine, and also to collect data on this issue divided by sex, age, place of residence, disability, etc for further analysis and developing appropriate programs for quarantine and post-quarantine period;
  • to ensure decent working conditions and adequate social protection for people working in areas with a high risk of infection and their families;
  • to develop state programs of social support during the quarantine and post-quarantine period for the most vulnerable categories of women: women with disabilities, women IDPs, women working with an increased risk of infection (in health care, social services, trade, etc.), and representatives of national minorities;
  • to consider in public policies of the post-quarantine period the needs of different groups of women and men, basing on international and national commitments on gender equality and human rights.

To the private sector:

  • to create possibilities for distant work or flexible work schedule for people who have to care about their children or other relatives during the quarantine;
  • to ensure the principle of equal pay for women and men and non-discrimination during contractions;
  • to provide medical insurance for employees.

To the Ukrainian Parliament:

  • to ensure considering the principles of equal rights and opportunities for women and men when developing and adopting the laws aimed to overcome the pandemic and its consequences;
  • to adopt amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On the Rules of Procedure of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine” on the introduction of ethical standards and the prevention of any type discrimination and sexism in the parliament, which would include the sanctions mechanism for its violation;
  • to ratify the Istanbul Convention considering the increase of gender-based violence level during the quarantine.