Seminar on gender equality and gender discrimination

23 грудня 2022 р.

Seminar on gender equality and gender discrimination

23 грудня 2022 р.

Workshop # 1
Speaker-Olga Liber, psychologist, Lifeline Ukraine hotline consultant

Seminar topic: gender equality and gender discrimination

Today, women, on an equal basis with men, perform active functions in the processes related to achieving peace, namely, a huge number of women provide the rear, a large number of women are involved in volunteering, women serve in the armed forces, are defenders. In particular, women serve and work in all types and branches of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Most of all, they are represented in units and formations of the ground forces and Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. (1)

At the same time, there are still stereotypes about the role of women in society, which negatively affect not only themselves, the possibility of realizing their personality, but also the overall well-being of society. In times of war, sexist stereotypes significantly affect the level of violence. In particular, the impact of violent conflict on women is manifested in the following: high expectations of society to support/serve men, tolerance of violence by men, sexual harassment, an increase in domestic violence in families of demobilized military personnel and not only, women suffer more from indirect losses and from gender-based violence.

Military personnel/veterans may also suffer from multi-discrimination. While in the service, they face labor harassment, exclusion from certain positions (personnel policy), sexual harassment, and benevolent sexism. Returning from the service, from the war to civilian life, there is a risk of running into public rejection of their choice to serve – “a woman-bereginya”, “a woman is first of all a mother”, “you can not leave children, family”, “this is not a woman's business”, etc. Often, the problems faced by veterans remain invisible, or they are not given due attention, and women's contribution to protecting the state may be underestimated. Thus, according to the study, only 13% of stories on the topic of peace and security in the media featured women as heroines, and only 6% of cases were depicted in the center of events (1).

Gender discrimination, violence - violence that affects men and women, and the victims of which are mainly women. It arises as a consequence of unequal power relations between the Sexes. This is violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman, or disproportionately affects women. It concerns (but is not limited to) physical, sexual and psychological harm, including intimidation, suffering, coercion or deprivation of Liberty in the family or in society at large. This also applies to violence committed or not stopped by the state. (2)

It is significant that 68% of Ukrainian women do not consider humiliation to be a manifestation of violence. For only 49% of women, violence is beatings, and for 56% – rape. These are the results of a survey conducted by the Ukrainian Institute of sociological research.

Another manifestation of inequality is the 28% wage gap in favor of men and the underrepresentation of women in power. There is a clear trend in Ukraine: the higher the authority, the fewer women there are

To overcome the existing inequality, to achieve positive changes in society, to achieve sustainable socio-economic development, it is necessary to implement the principles of equal rights of men and women. There is an urgent need to develop intolerance to violence in society, to any manifestations of sexism (including benevolence) at all levels, including the security sector.

Dissemination of information on the situation with respect for women's rights in Ukraine, on the impact of the war in eastern Ukraine on the civilian population, on women and men, on the need and possibility of ensuring human rights in the context of conflict, contributes to raising awareness of this issue, deepens understanding of the problem and increases the effectiveness of specialists/specialists who are involved in the work aimed at providing assistance to veterans.

The better equal rights are respected, the happier everyone is, and the more successful and strong the state is.

(1) Women. Peace. Security. Information and training manual for security sector specialists. Kiev 2017. P. 10 (2) Newsletter. Global research. Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution No. 1325: key messages, results and recommendations. UN Women, 2015, P. 9. (3) the UN Declaration on the elimination of violence against women. - Electronic resource. Access mode: http://zakon2.