Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Social and economic rights

Ukrainian rural women’s life close to slavery



An international conference in Lviv last week heard that the life of village women in Ukraine borders on the level of slavery. A third of Ukraine’s population live in rural areas where conditions often fail to meet those generally accepted as normal conditions for existence.

27 percent of rural inhabitants live below the povery line, while 60 percent said that their village had stopped developing or was actually disintegrating. These statistics were presented by the Director of the International Institutie for Educational Workers, Culture and Contact with the Diaspora, Irina Klyuchkovska at the conference “The Ukrainian Women’s Movement in the Modern World and National Dimension”.

In such difficult financial, social and cultural conditions, Ukrainian rural women are forced to work up to 15 hours a day, combining work in agriculture with housework, Ms Klyuchkovska says. Most work at the weekends. According to the State Committee of Statistics, only 10 percent of rural women feel in a good state of health. 

Due to the difficult conditions there is a tendency for women to have only one child, with the number of families with many children, once typical for rural families, is steadily falling. Women in the village don’t have time for a child and according to estimates on average only spend half an hour a day on their upbringing. .

Almost 90 percent of the rural women surveyed in a study by the Horshenin Institute said that they didn’t want ttheir children to work in agriculture.

Irina Klyuchkovska believes that the decay of Ukrainian rural life should be raised at UN level in order to get financing for major reform.

Report by Halyna Stadnyk at, , 15330752, 00.html

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