Ukraine lagging behind in number of women in high office


According to the Head of the Board of the Ukrainian Women’s Fund, Natalya Karbovska, Ukraine has a pretty low number of women holding high-ranking public office. She believes this is unacceptable in a country where 54% of the population are women.

Commenting on the recent comments by Prime Minister Azarov about the lack of women in his Cabinet of Ministers, Ms Karbovska said that Ukrainian politicians had always managed to stun their fellow citizens with their comments, but that these were in a class of their own.

“A woman’s place is not only in the kitchen. When Azarov states that reforms are not women’s matter, he forces us to feel outrage and to stress that Ukraine, which just last year in terms of gender representation was in the middle of the list, is now in second to last place among countries of Africa and developing countries”.

Natalya Karbovska cited statistics showing that only 7.5% of parliamentarians are women, but noted that this was in fact one of the highest figures, and gave the following: advisors to the President – 0%; Cabinet of Ministers – 0%; top echelons of the Verkhovna Rada, including the Speaker and his (!) deputies – 0%; heads of Verkhovna Rada committees – 7%; heads of regional (oblast) State Administrations and that of the Crimea – 0%. The best situation is with deputies of regional councils where women make up 12%; district (raion) councils – 23%; city councils – 28%; and among higher category civil servants 18% are women”.  She stressed that the level of powers and opportunities for women to influence national level decisions was much lower.

Elli Valentine from the Support Programme for Ukraine’s Parliament” notes that normally the number of women in parliament is around 30%   «20% - in European countries, 30% - in the USA.  As an example: women make up 13.2% in parliament in the Russian Federation; Latvia  — 22%, Poland  — 20%, Sweden — 42%. Belgium  — 43%. The highest figure is in Rwanda  — 50%. Against this background the figure of 7.5% in Ukraine is disturbing”, she said.

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