Friday, 15 January 2016

Women's Rights In Ukraine (K. S)

                          Women In Ukraine 
                                    Research by Khatia Shiuka
Ukraine - A country in Eastern Europe, north of the Black Sea.

* Capital, Kiev

* Population: 44,291,413 (July 2014 est.)

* Nationality: Ukrainian(s)

* Main Religion: Christian orthodoxy

* Languages: Official Ukrainian (official) 67%,
Other "regional languages" including Russian; 24%.
*  President of  Ukraine Petro Poroshenko
* Rank 61st out of 152
* Global Gender Gap Index 3

                                    Gender Equality

Under The Ukraine's Rule of Law women in Ukraine have equal constitutional rights as men in the economic, political, cultural and social fields.
The Article 1 of the Law of Ukraine "On ensuring equal rights and opportunities for men and women"
- Despite that the Ukrainian Constitution declared equal rights for men and women in Ukraine the men are just like the driving force in Ukrainian society, whereas women are relegated to being solely the housewives and caretakers of the family.
Ukrainian women and girls often are victims of domestic violence.
In 2008 UNICEF has specifically promoted gender sensitive parenting education by supporting the establishment of Papa-Schools, which include training on gender equality, and in 2010 continued to expand this support in different regions. The initiative resulted in the increase of attendance at child birth by partners, and more awareness among fathers about young child care.

In 2012, Insight prevented two other draft laws that would have prohibited abortion and limited the reproductive rights of older women.
In 2014, Ukraine was shaken by the onset of a violent conflict that had far-reaching detrimental effects on Ukrainian women and girls. Ukraine actively participates in the gender-based violence protection sub-cluster and initiated an internal discussion on the most effective engagement in this area based on the UNICEF comparative advantage.

According to the UNICEF Ukraine, barriers to accessing services are greater among females who inject drugs, particularly young mothers or
pregnant women, than among men. Barriers may include avoidance of contact with services because of fears regarding child custody, an absence of gender-specific services, family and childcare responsibilities and additional stigmatization/discrimination due to pregnancy.


The Ukrainian Constitution guarantees free education for all children (girls/boys) and mandates 12 years compulsory schooling. Despite positive trends in education reform the Ukrainian education system continues to face a few challenges.

Education reforms;

* The government introduced external testing for
secondary school graduates in 2008.

* the government introduced a free school bus program in a rural areas as a step toward ensuring equity in access to education.

Access to education faces challenges at all levels;

* in Ukraine and country's regions. In primary education the net enrolment
ratio (NER) is 83%, which is far below the sub - regional and regional average .

In 2014, 2015 - In self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics ( Ukraine's historical territories annexed by the Russia ) are using local schools and colleges for military purposes by both Ukrainian soldiers and Russian-backed rebel forces. In 2015 Human Rights Watch urged the Ukrainian government to heed Security Council Resolution 2225 (2015) and “take concrete measures to deter, use of schools by armed forces and armed groups.”

                     Literacy rate 2012

Age 15 and over can read and write.

* Female - 99.7% - in 2012

* Male: 99.8% - in 2012.

According to the World Bank adult literacy rate is the percentage of people ages 15 and above who can, with understanding, read and write a short, simple statement on their everyday life.

         The Women’s Representation In Ukrainian Politics

* In The parliamentary election 1994 only 11 women (2.3% of the parliament) were elected.

* In 2006 Ukraine's general elections 32 women were elected, making up 7.1 per cent of the elected members of the national parliament.

* In 2012 in Ukrainian parliamentary election women made up 9.9% of the parliament.

* From 2014 in Ukrainian parliament 12.1% of members are women.

* Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments, In 2015;

- According to the non-governmental organisation OPORA 'a distinct minority women are more active in Parliament than their male counterparts.
After the Orange Revolution 2005, a first female Yulia Tymoshenko, is appointed Prime Minister of Ukraine in the Rada on February 4, 2005.
According to a study (published on 1 November 2014) by Inter-Parliamentary Union Ukraine is ranked 112th among 189 countries in terms of political representation of women in parliament.

                                     Sexism In Ukrainian Politics

* In 2010 During the Ukrainian Presidential election Viktor Yanukovych refused to debate his female opponent prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and justified it by saying that "a woman's place is in the kitchen".

* In 2012 Ukraine's prime minister, Azarov said that women are unsuitable for high political office and incapable of carrying out reforms".

* According to the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty the Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov argued that; “Based our ‘traditions and our Christian mentality’: "Man is the higher being, as woman was made from Adam's rib". Consequently, she is the lesser being".

* Ukrainian government includes figures who are openly sexist, such as the deputy prime minister, Oleksandr Sych, of the far-right Svoboda party. According to the Guardian in April 2013 Svoboda Party registered a bill that would have outlawed abortion even in cases of rape."

* In 2014 Petro Poroshenko’s Government 'allowed' two women; Hanna Onyshchenko - The Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers and Natalie Jaresko the Minister of Finance of Ukraine.( In The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine)

           Maternity Pay and Length Of Maternity Leave

* Length Of Maternity Leave: 126 Days
Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100

* In 2013 New “Pregnancy Tax” Introduced for Women and Their Employers.
Under the present law in Ukraine, women are entitled to 126, or in some cases to 140, days of paid maternity leave, during which time they receive 100% of their earned income.
( According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) )

                               Women In Business
 (Natalie Jaresko the Minister of Finance of Ukraine, since 2014)
* On average women earn 30% less than men occupying similar posts.
* About 50 of all enterprises without employees are woman owned.

Women tend to lead small business in retail, wholesale trade and catering. 2% of large companies are headed by women.
These numbers are almost similar to those in other Western economies.

                   Women In The Labour Force

* In 2008, women’s Labour Participation Rate (LPR) was approximately 62%.

* Women in labour force 53.0% (2012)

- The Labour laws in Ukraine establish the legal equality of men and women, including "Equal pay for equal work", a principle that generally was observed. However, industries dominated by female workers had the lowest relative wages and were the ones most likely to be affected by wage arrears.

- Women make up 54% of the population of Ukraine and 45% of its labour force.
More than 60% of all Ukrainian women have higher education. However, the unemployment rate of women is very high compared to men with the same educational background; 80% of all unemployed in Ukraine are women.
Women receive lower salaries and have limited opportunity for career advancement.

The retirement age is in the process of being gradually increased, to 60 years for women and 62 years for men-civil servants by 2021.

There were reports of some employers refusing to hire younger women likely to become pregnant or women over 35.

Few women held top managerial positions in the government or in state- owned or private industry.

-  According to human Rights Watch' report  'Gender discrimination in Ukraine is cutting women out of the work force while the Ukrainian government is doing nothing to stop the problem.'
Ukrainian employers discriminate against women job seekers in the way they announce vacancies and interview applicants. State employment centres, private recruiting firms and job-placement agencies routinely distribute such advertisements as "young woman from 18 to 30, attractive appearance" etc.
Also, employers often deny young women work because, as they tell the women, they are of an age to be raising children.
 Human Rights Watch called on the European Union (EU) to assist the Ukrainian government in harmonizing its legislation to meet EU standards on non-discrimination and equal treatment in employment and asked the International Labour Organization (ILO) to provide additional training to government officials, including labour ministry inspectors etc.

               Violence Against Women in UKRAINE

Ukraine signed the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence thus declared its readiness to apply European standards to fight violence against women and girls.
Also Ukraine's government having signed the Law "On Prevention of Domestic Violence", Ukraine recognized its obligations to eliminate violence against women, to help victims and condemn offenders.

Despite All;
* around 45 percent of Ukraine’s population (45 million) suffer violence – physical, sexual or mental – and most of them are women.

* The most vulnerable category of women - around 40 percent of a Street women suffer from sexual violence, with 25 percent being under 18.

- The government officially condemns discrimination against women and girls in all its manifestations, in accordance with Articles 2, 5, 6 and other articles of the United Nations Human Rights Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
However according to the UN Population Fund representative in Ukraine Nuzhat Ehsan there is many loopholes in the legislation contribute to the problem of domestic violence, “You can abuse women and still if you are a high-level official or from a high-level official family, you can get away with it”

NGOs - Ukrainian non-governmental organizations in cooperation with international donors share successful practices. In particular their activity relates to supporting family violence centres, work with offenders, supporting of hotlines for victims of abuse, rape, human trafficking and children's rights protection.

                             Women and Girls In Conflict

With the prolongation of the conflict and displacement, women are increasingly vulnerable to various human rights violations and abuses both in Government and armed group controlled areas. Those trapped in areas of fighting are at a heightened threat of sexual violence.

According to a 10 July 2014 UNHCR report, the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across Ukraine has now reached over 79,000, with the majority being women and children. Yet throughout the crisis situation in Ukraine, there has been limited attention given to women's security.

                                  Sexual Minorities  

Discrimination in employment is a severe problem for women and sexual minorities in Ukraine. In recent years, there’s been an increase in public displays of homophobia in Ukraine.

Under The former Government people had less access to reliable information for women and LGBT people allowing them to informed about  sex minorities. The law 8711 “On Introduction of Changes to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine”, banned all  information about homosexuality and sexuality.  Government representatives are openly attacking the rights of women and LGBT people, portraying them as a threat to national security. They also say that LGBT rights would lead to a demographic crisis and destroy the family institution.

In 2013 Ukraine gay rights activists hold first LGBT pride. Around one hundred gay rights activists marched in Ukraine despite fears of violence and a court ban – marking the first gay pride event in the former Soviet state.

last few years the bill banning discrimination against gay people in the workplace had been rejected  several times in Ukrainian parliament, reflecting a strong opposition from those who saw the document as a challenge to the country’s Orthodox Christian traditions. However, Ukraine exhibits far more tolerance towards gay people than neighbouring Russia.

On 12 November 2015 the Ukrainian lawmakers (450-seat parliament approved the bill with 234 votes) finally adopted legislation banning discrimination against gay people in the workplace. The new bill that bans discrimination against gay people and gender identity at workplace.

- Today LGBT people in Ukraine have legal protection from discrimination. However there is a big challenge, because in Ukraine the country’s Orthodox Christian traditions are more strong then the rule of law. Also, however the Ukrainian nationalist group and a court in Odessa, also Pro-Russian separatists who govern the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine (Annexed by Russia) have banned the promotion of so-called gay propaganda to minors. Therefore gay people still are not safe in Ukraine. 

                                        Feminism in Ukraine

One of the biggest feminist organization in Europe was founded during the 1920s in western Ukraine. The organization was called the Ukrainian Woman's Union, and was led by Milena Rudnycka. Nowadays there are a few women's rights groups, including the Woman's Union FEMEN and Ofenzyva.

The FEMEN - The Ukrainian Topless Feminists Group most active and radical women's rights group in Kiev was closed in 2013. The organization left Ukraine and emigrated in France.

The FEMEN movement made its name by carrying out politically-motivated naked protests at home in Ukraine and in countries throughout Europe, including the Vatican. The main Goal of the FEMEN’s - 'complete victory over sexism, inequality and rotten macho patriarchal culture."
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