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Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
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22. WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND GENDER DISCRIMINATION

   


[1]   

The report of human rights advocacy organizations on observance of human rights in Ukraine for 2012 continues the tradition of the previous years concerning coverage of the topics of women’s rights and gender equality. Analysis of the situation for 2012 compared to 2011, 2010 and 2009 gives reasons to believe that most of the tendencies mentioned in previous reports keep developing, the general social and political context shows no significant changes, the efforts made to institutionalize the gender policy are insufficient, and anti-gender movements, which find support from deputies of various levels, are getting stronger. The year 2012 is the year of the new parliamentary elections, and this boosted discussions around the issues of political participation of women.

On May 24, 2012, the State Registration Service sent a letter to non-governmental human rights advocacy organizations of Ukraine (No. 434-08-19-12-8), including – the „La Strada – Ukraine» Center and the All-Ukrainian Non-Governmental Organization «Women’s Consortium of Ukraine», with which it demanded to provide, within two weeks, complete information about the organizations’ activities. As the grounds for such demands the State Registration Service mentioned numerous letters from the public, in which people expressed their protest against these organizations’ activities and demanded to ban operation of human rights advocacy organizations, based on the imaginary conclusions that they presumably were undermining the institution of family and the state itself, as well as the traditional moral values. Every organization mentioned in the letter of the State Registration Service, sent their responses, indicating that they were conducting their activities in the directions stipulated by the organizations’ charters, in compliance with the effective legislation of Ukraine, including international treaties, whose binding authority the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine granted consent for. No response from the State Registrar has been received.

Moreover, anti-gender movements are getting more active; their representatives keep disseminating unveracious information, including information about the content and the directions of policies on protection of human rights and on equality of men and women. The organization that calls itself the Ukrainian Faithful Greek Catholic Church, which is an unacknowledged church (sect) that branched off the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church several years ago, and whose leader is a wanted person, conducts active propaganda. Their website is operational and is being updated constantly, showing a high level of awareness and quick response. For example, their letter to the Prime Minister Mykola Azarov with a demand to abolish the Expert Council in the issues of consideration of addresses concerning facts of sex-based discrimination, established under the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, appeared on their website on September 9, 2012[2], while the documents on establishment of this Council were displayed on the website of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on August 15, 2012[3]. After familiarization with several online resources, one can’t help but believe that there is indeed an ongoing attack against the human rights advocacy and women’s organizations in Ukraine[4].

Denial of the principles of equality of women and men and of the gender policy of Ukraine in 2012 was reflected in the regional polices. For example, according to the resolution of the Oblast council as of June 21, 2012, No. 12/13, Volyn oblast council held the session hearings on the topic «Clarification of essence of gender policy and problems and risks it brings to Ukrainian society». As stated by the initiator of the event Antonina Yevtodiuk, the head of Volyn Regional Non-governmental Organization «Christian Movement for Life», candidate of philosophical sciences, professor of the department of philosophy, political science and law at Lutsk National Technical University – these days, homodictatorship is being implemented in Ukraine. In addition to women and men, to her opinion, one more sex is being introduced, that is, gays, lesbians, bisexuals or other minorities»[5]. The initiators for the session hearings suggested that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine should conduct the parliamentary hearings on the topic «Clarification of essence of gender policy and problems and risks it brings to Ukrainian society»; they also insisted on necessity of monitoring of the essence and dangers of gender programs, which are being implemented in the region, and monitoring of agreements Lutsk city council came into with the gender organizations, which are representatives of foreign gender foundations»[6]. More similar examples can be provided, and this proves both the situation’s gravity and the necessity of strengthening the governmental gender policy and its informational and educational component.

On the website of the Ministry of Social Policy, the pages «Family policy» and «Gender policy» are virtually blank (the latter only lists information about the Expert council[7]). The websites of other central governmental agencies (which are, according to the Law of Ukraine of Ukraine «On Securing of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men», tasked to implement he policy of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men) have no such sections at all. The Ministry of Social Policy actively cooperates with the organizations that act against women’s rights, gender equality, and juvenile justice.

In June of 2012, more than 20 women’s non-governmental organizations sent letters to the Minister of Social Policy Serhiy Tihipko and the Minister of Education and Science, Youth and Sports Dmytro Tabachnyk and asked for a meeting concerning the risks of the growing anti-gender movements, but received no response, what shows that the opinion of the public and experts on this topic is being ignored.

Institutional mechanism. The women’s rights and compliance with the principles of gender equality are the spheres of the policy where (according to the international standards, in particular the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) the positive obligations of the state constitute an important point. Therefore, an operational and competent institutional mechanism for introduction of such policy is a necessary pre-condition for its efficiency. The administrative reform that launched in practice in 2010 has still not been completed; its second stage related to reformation of the managerial structures on the regional and local level has not started yet, so in fact there is no vertical structure of administration from the authorized specialist in the Ministry of Social Policy to the oblast and rayon state administrations. Coordination of work, just like in the previous year, was not conducted. The Public Council under the Ministry of Social Policy in 2011 and in 2012 in fact did not work. Only in September 2012, the next scheduled process of its formation was initiated. In connection with this, the initiatives concerning improvement of the regulatory support and practical activities are being implemented too slowly, the state program of facilitation to promotion of gender equality, which was supposed to be adopted yet in the end of 2010, is still absent, and the Law of Ukraine «On Securing of Equal Rights and Opportunities of Women and Men» remains but a declaration. Since October 1, 2012, structural changes in the Ministries of Social Policy took place, which caused an even greater weakening of the mechanism. Also, as the experts are expectably concerned, after the parliamentary elections are over it is possible that the sub-committee for international legal issues and gender policy is eliminated from the structure of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in the issues of human rights, national minorities and international relations.

The report «New Ombudsman’s 100 days»[8] provides a detailed analysis of the activities in this sphere in 2012, according to the Ombudsman’s main functions – control, receiving and considering complaints concerning the facts of gender discrimination, and coverage of the issues of gender discrimination in the annual report[9]. In the structure under the Ombudsman, a Division has been established, which is in charge of observance of children’s rights, non-discrimination and gender equality and within whose framework the department[10] in the issues of observance of children’s rights, the department in the issues of non-discrimination and the department in the issues of gender equality will operate. Also, the position of the Ombudsman’s Commissioner in the issues of observance of children’s rights, non-discrimination and gender equality was preserved in a modified form. At the same time, several complaints sent to the Ombudsman indicate low efficiency in this sphere. For example, in response to the complaint of Ms. D. concerning sex-based discrimination in connection with the discriminatory statement of the Minister of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of Ukraine Dmytro Tabachnyk[11], the answer was given, as of August 17, 2012, stating that «value judgments are not subject to refutation and proof of their truthfulness» and for this reason, «there are… no legal grounds for taking the measures to respond on the part of the Commissioner for human rights»[12]. In response to the complaint of Ms. L. concerning the fact of gender discriminatory advertisement being widespread, a response was received (as of August 17, 2012) stating that «The Commissioner for human rights is not authorized for direct resolution of the issues in question»[13]. From the experts’ point of view, such response contradicts the legislation of Ukraine, including the Laws «On the Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for human rights» and «On Securing of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men». At the same time, some measures were taken concerning this complaint: an address was sent to the State Inspection of Ukraine in the issues of protection of consumer rights, with a request to take the appropriate measures. In public domain there is no information about other cases initiated by the Commissioner concerning the facts of sex-based discrimination, as there is no information about any activities initiated by the Commissioner in this direction.

In the Verkhovna Rada, the inter-faction deputy association «Equal opportunities»[14] continued to function, its priority task being to defend equal opportunities for men and women in the issues of employment, education, access to health care, and participation in social and political life of Ukraine. At the same time, the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada who are members of another inter-faction group «For spirituality, morality and health of Ukraine» (2009)[15] are ever more actively speaking against the policy of gender equality and women’s rights.

International commitments and activities at the international level. On October 24, 2012, Ukraine reported in the United Nations Human Rights Council within the framework of the second round of the Universal periodic review on human rights. The government prepared a report[16], which was discussed during consultations with NGOs and independent experts on numerous occasions. Yet, its sections dedicated to the issues of women’s rights presented only partial information. The Coalition of non-governmental organizations prepared and sent to the United Nations Human Rights Council its report[17], whose paragraphs were included in the general report on Ukraine[18]. In addition, representatives of the delegations of the member states in the United Nations Human Rights Council suggested recommendations and questions to the Government of Ukraine[19].

The Council of Europe, in cooperation with the Government of Ukraine, developed and approved the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine for 2011-2014, within which several of the proposed projects are aimed to eliminate gender discrimination[20] (projects 1.3.1.,1.3.2, and 1.3.3.). As of September of 2012, implementation of these projects has not yet started. In October 2012, the delegation of the Council of Europe visited Ukraine to plan the launch of the projects and conducted some meetings with representatives of governmental institutions and NGOs.

In 2012, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine conducted the procedure of nominating the Ukrainian candidate, expert for gender issues, Оlena Suslova[21], to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, which increased the level of the national experts’ awareness concerning the use of international instruments for protection of women’s rights. During the voting in the UN, the candidature from Ukraine was not supported.

After the structural changes in the Council of Europe, the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men was disbanded, and the Gender Equality Commission of the Council of Europe was established. Serhiy Kyslytsia, director of the Department for international organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, was elected as the vice-head of this Commission.

A new structural subdivision of the UN, UN Women, started working. Ukraine is represented in this structure by the officers of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations in New York. In Ukraine, Oksana Kyseliova, activist of the women’s movement, was assigned as a representative of UN Women. There is no sufficient information about the work of UN-Women in the country.

Regulatory enactments adopted in this sphere and projects. Compliance with the international legal standards in the sector of human rights. In September of 2012, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the Law «On Principles of Prevention and Counteraction to Discrimination in Ukraine». It was heavily criticized by the public. The major issues with its text were expressed several times[22]. They are also articulated in the statement of non-governmental organizations[23], in particular: this Law offers definitions that do not cover all manifestations of discrimination, and, moreover, it is declarative and fails to provide for introduction of responsibility for discriminatory actions. It is too early to discuss, to what extent it will influence protection from sex-based discrimination.

On October 2, 2012, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the draft law No. 8282 as of March 23, 2011, on amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine (concerning limitations in use of assisted reproductive technologies) in the first reading, which bans women over 51 years of age to use assisted reproduction technologies[24].

On February 23, 2012, the draft law No.10112 «On amendments to Article 167 of the Tax Code of Ukraine concerning revision of tax on income of natural persons» was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. This draft law provides for tax rates higher by 17 % for "irresponsible" citizens, who failed to find time to have kids before they are 30 years old[25].

On March 12, 2012, the draft law No. 10170 was registered concerning ban on artificial termination of pregnancy (abortion), which is violation of women’s reproductive rights. Over one hundred NGOs and activists came up with an open letter and address to the government concerning prevention of such steps that would inevitably cause increase in the numbers of illegal abortions and, as a result, disabilities and maternal deaths[26]. These protests are provoked by the speeches of religious leaders[27] and the increasing influence of the church on secular life, as mentioned in the previous reports. The draft law has not been considered. It received negative evaluation, including from the Chief Scientific and Expert Department of the Verkhovna Rada, and caused active protests of women’s and other NGOs[28].

On March 15, 2012, the draft law No. 10210 «On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine concerning ban on possession and (or) use of alcohol and tobacco products to individuals under 18 years of age and to pregnant women» was registered. The proposal of the draft’s authors was to impose fines for pregnant women and minors who smoke or use alcohol[29].

On May 15, 2012, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine considered the draft law “On amendments to some laws of Ukraine (on securing of equal rights and opportunities for women and men in the sphere of labor)», registration No. 8487, as of May 12, 2011, and recommitted it to the relevant Committee in the issues of human rights, national minorities and interethnic relations[30]. It was never considered after that. The draft proposed, in particular, quotas for the elections to the Verkhovna Rada and to the bodies of local self-government, as well as harmonization of the definition of discrimination with the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

On August, 29, 2012, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine sent to all its structural subdivisions the Letter No. 13234 containing the methodological recommendations concerning the dress code for the staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs[31], which is a precise copy of the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 155 as of 2010[32]. These recommendations are sexist and discriminatory in their essence.

In September 2012, work on development of the state program for implementation of gender equality for 2011-2015 (sic) was renewed. Discussions with experts were held. Yet even if it were adopted in 2012, the governmental funding for its implementation is possible only starting from 2014.

Examples of violation of women’s rights. The report of human rights advocacy organizations on the situation with observance of women’s rights (2011) described the major systemic violations of women’s rights[33]. Sexism and discrimination in the media. Proliferation of fundamentalist and anti-gender movements. Discrimination on the labor market and in labor remuneration. Discrimination in the political sphere, in access to medical care and education, in access to justice. Double discrimination of rural women, female migrants and refugees, etc. All above-mentioned tendencies persist. They come in new forms of manifestation, showing serious miscalculations in the governmental policy.

Sphere of employment and labor remuneration. During the raid of inspectors of the State Labor Inspection of Ukraine, conducted on February 10, 2012 (inspection of 2.5 thousand enterprises), over 900 violations were detected in the sphere of rights of working women and men – untimely payment of child care leave allowance, engaging pregnant women and mothers of children under three years of age to kinds of work that are forbidden for them by the law, non-payment of sick leaves, etc. The difference in salaries of women and men for the work of the same value is over 25 % to the benefit of the latter[34]. In March of 2012, the Ministry of Social Policy published the numbers stating the difference on the level of 8%[35], which requires additional studies.

Political sphere. Women’s representation on the higher tiers of power and on the decision-making positions remains very low. Statistics did not change compared to the previous year. The electoral process of 2012 followed the trend. While in 2002 the number of women-candidates running for the Parliament in the majority constituencies was 456, and was by no means in line with the people's desire to become a European nation and with the declarations of the government, in 2012 the number of registered women-candidates was 67 persons fewer compared to the elections ten years earlier. That is, 389 women versus 2,720 men[36]. The share of women in the party lists is 19.14%, that is, 533 women of 2,785 candidates in party lists[37].

Sexism and discrimination in media sphere. During 2012, the sad tradition of sexist and discriminatory statements from the highest-ranked officials of the state persisted in Ukraine. In February of 2012, Anatoliy Mohiliov, the Prime Minister of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, during the meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea offended politician Oleksandra Kuzhel. «I understand that in your age women have certain problems with their psychoemotional state», he said in response to Ms. Kuzhel’s critical remarks before the voting on appointment of the new head of the criminal police[38]. On the eve of the 8th of March, Volodymyr Lytvyn, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, expressed his opinion on «the women’s place»[39]. Referring to «the tradition and the Christian mentality, according to which man is a superior being, as woman was created from the rib of Adam, accordingly, this makes her inferior», the speaker of the Parliament expressed doubts in women’s political and professional qualities. «I think, here a natural principle must be in effect, not just enforcement in form of the relevant law»[40].

The Minister of Education and Science, Youth and Sports Dmytro Tabachnyk did not want to be left behind here. On May 17, 2012, he stated that girls that study at the master’s courses and PhD programs are “not very beautiful”[41]. The Prime Minister’s apology for him is hardly less discriminatory[42].

On March 18, during the elections of the mayor of Obukhiv, people’s deputy Petro Melnyk tried to force another people’s deputy, Iryna Herashchenko, from the polling station. He took her under her arms, lifted her and tried to carry her out from the polling station[43].

The monitoring of mass media and advertising shows that both the media and advertising are overflowing with sexist and gender-discriminatory images and this constitutes violation of human rights and causes reproduction and aggravation of the negative gender stereotypes[44]. Sexism in mass media feeds the existence of such problems as sexual exploitation, trafficking in human beings and discrimination of women in the sphere of labor. The cause of this situation is that the legislation in the sphere of mass media and advertisement lacks a standard aimed to disallow reproduction of gender stereotypes and sexism.

A positive step on the way to resolve the problem of the spreading sexism in advertisement was signing of the Standards for gender non-discriminatory advertisement by the most influential representatives of the advertisement industry on September 30, 2011, which were registered on July 30, 2012 by the State Enterprise «Ukrainian Scientific, Research and Educational Center for Problems of Standardization, Certification and Quality» No. 3259575212249, under the initiative of gender experts and the Ukrainian Association of Marketing Consultants[45]. Under the Association, the Industrial Gender Committee operates, which, both on its own initiative and in response to complaints, considers the facts of spreading of gender discriminatory advertisement. In September 2012, the meeting of this Committee took place, where complaints against discriminatory advertisement were considered. Yet online there is no information available about its activities.

Right for health care. Free and accessible medical care has been problematic for a long time already. The price for childbirth medical care is also growing, and this affects not just families in general, but, first and foremost, women. In a government-owned maternity house it is about UAH 17 thousand, and in a private one – over 40 thousand[46]. Shutdown of the feldsher-midwife stations in rural areas causes impairment of rural women’s access to medical services.

Legal means for protection against gender discrimination. Analysis of the situation in Ukraine shows that the country has failed to establish either judicial or extrajudicial systems to address complaints on the facts of sex-based discrimination. Several actual attempts to file complaints against discrimination have never been resolved positively. When «La Strada – Ukraine» tried to sue, in compliance with the administrative procedure, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine for the admission rules to the higher educational institutions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine that are discriminatory against women as well as for the gender discrimination experiment, the Administrative Court of Kyiv city did not find any facts of sex-based discrimination. The issue here is both absence of experience of successful court practices in such cases and the judges’ failure to apply international treaties ratified by Ukraine[47].

On June 8, 2012, the Minister of Social Policy signed (for the third time (!!!) since the Council was established: Two previous Decrees were issued by the Ministry of Ukraine for the Issues of Family, Youth and Sports) the Decree on resumption of work of the Expert Council for consideration of complaints against sex-based discrimination[48]. In September, the first meeting was held, during which three incoming complaints were accepted for consideration. At the time of preparation of this report, no results of the consideration are available. According to the draft State Program for facilitation to implementation of gender equality for 2012-2015, similar councils must be established in every oblast.

On July 31, 2012, the „La Strada – Ukraine” Center sent to the UN Commission on the Status of Women a written request "Sexism in advertisement and media in Ukraine as stereotyped attitude to women’s role and duties". The request included analysis of the problem of sexism in advertisement and in media in Ukraine, legal analysis of the mechanism of complaints against such manifestations of discrimination, and recommendations to the government concerning elimination of this phenomenon[49].

Activities of non-governmental organizations. Activities of NGOs play a decisive role in supporting the principles of gender equality in the modern policy in Ukraine. Among them, one should mention the Ukrainian Women’s Foundation[50], the Museum of history of women’s and gender movements[51], the Western Ukrainian center «Women’s Perspectives», the International Women’s Advocacy Center «La Strada – Ukraine»[52], the Informational and Consulting Women’s Center[53], the Women’s Consortium of Ukraine[54], the International Non-Governmental Organization «School of Equal Opportunities», «Successful woman», the Non-Governmental Organization «Vira. Nadia. Lyubov», the Non-Governmental Organization «Development of Democracy», «Project Kesher», «Rozrada», the Kyiv Center for Gender Studies, and others. Activities in these directions in Ukraine are supported with rather limited resources by such donors as the Ukrainian Women’s Foundation, the International Renaissance Foundation, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Matra Programme, as well as by the Embassies of the U.S., Germany, Canada, Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark and others. Low level of funding available for the projects and programs in this sphere is a serious problem. Regardless of this, we can single out several important initiatives that are performed by Ukrainian NGOs.

Monitoring of facts of gender discrimination. The „La Strada – Ukraine» Center initiated «monitoring of everyday life». The goal is to document and collect instances of gender discrimination in the educational sphere, culture and media, as well as in the labor and social spheres, and to prepare, based on its results, a number of addresses and claims to various institutions, in particular, to the Expert Council under the Ministry of Social Policy or to the Commissioner for human rights[55].

Gender Award and Anti-Award. The Informational and Consulting Women’s Center, in cooperation with the International Women’s Human Rights Advocacy Center „La Strada – Ukraine”, conducted the expert assessment and identified artifacts for Gender Anti-Award «Poison of the season – 2012». The anti-award is granted twice a year – on June 22 and on December 22. The award is granted to those who continue to propagate, reinforce and disseminate outdated gender stereotypes and derogatory sexist views[56]. Twice a year, awards for «Gender quality» are granted – in the end of March and September.

Museum of history of women’s and gender movement and its website[57] became an online center for formation of the modern public opinion concerning women’s rights and gender equality, thanks to the initiative’s support by various NGOs; it also offers educational, cultural and informational programs.

With support of the Matra Foundation, the Informational and Consulting Women’s Center launched a project aimed to improve the opportunities of rural women[58].

On May 19, 2012 the representatives of the Women’s Democratic Network (WDN), the All-Ukrainian Association «Women’s Consortium of Ukraine», the All-Ukrainian Association «Women’s choice», the Institute of Democracy and Social Processes, the Kyiv Institute for Gender Studies, the Public Association «European choice» initiated establishment of the Network of public control over gender equality during elections2012. Within the framework of its activities, the qualitative and quantitative monitoring of the electoral process during the parliamentary elections of 2012 was conducted in the following spheres: the nomination of women by political parties in multi-mandate and majority constituencies; the process of electoral campaigns on national and regional levels; adherence to the principles of human rights, development of gender equality, and social justice in pre-electoral programs[59].

 

Establishment and operation of the network of centers for gender education. In 2011, on the initiative of the Regional gender resource center and with support from the Chief Department for the issues of Family, Youth and Sports of Kharkiv Oblast State Administration, a project was developed in Kharkiv named «Creation of gender education center – basis for introduction of gender-based approaches in higher education». As of the middle of 2012, the All-Ukrainian network of gender education centers consists of centers and departments of 18 higher educational institutions. The Kharkiv Oblast Gender Resource Center coordinates the network’s activities. In March 2012, development of the concept of activities of the All-Ukrainian network and of the concept of a gender-sensitive higher educational institution was started. Further development of the work of the Centers of gender education at higher educational institutions will be facilitated by support of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine and the Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of Ukraine.

The goal of the independent feminist initiative "Feminist Offensive"[60], which conducted a number of actions in 2012, is to draw the public’s attention to violation of women’s rights in labor remuneration, access to political decisions, access to leadership, in reproductive rights and in cultural stereotypes. The project takes together knowledge, art and politics, seeking new strategies to overcome gender inequality[61].

Gender strategic platform. The Gender Strategic Platform, an open forum for discussion of the perspectives of development of the gender policy in Ukraine, also continued its work. During its meetings, important documents and declarations were discussed and developed, and they became an assembly point for many NGOs.

From November 25 to December 10, Ukrainian organizations participated in the International event «16 days against gender-based violence». Over ten organizations, the members of the Gender Strategic Platform, developed a joint action plan and published it on their websites[62].

The portal «Vsi Rivni»[63] plays an active role in educating the population and disseminating information about the issues concerning women’s rights, protection of children’s rights, gender equality, counteraction to violence, trafficking in human beings, and discrimination.

 

Recommendations. Practical recommendations from the previous report are still valid[64]. The following ones are to be added:

 

              For the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and central bodies of executive power:

 1. To uphold the legislation in the part of mandatory discussion with the civil society of drafts of regulatory enactments and drafts of governmental programs; to provide adequate governmental funding for them and to include qualitative indicators for the progress status.

2. To set up a system of mandatory gender education for public servants of all levels. To include the questions on the Law «On Securing of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men» to the list of mandatory questions for certification of public servants of all levels.

3. To perform ongoing monitoring of implementation of the Law of Ukraine «On Securing of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men».

4. To perform mandatory gender and legal expert assessment of regulatory enactments and draft laws submitted by any of legislative initiative entities.

5. To adopt the State Program for facilitation to promotion of gender equality in the Ukrainian society for 2013-2016.

 

        For the Central bodies of executive power and Oblast state administrations:

6. To conduct educational events for the public in the sphere of women’s rights and gender equality on a regular basis.

7. To develop and implement effective mechanisms (both judicial and extrajudicial) of responding to complaints against gender discrimination. To establish Expert councils for gender issues on the regional level. To adopt amendments to the Provision on Expert Council to harmonize it with the Law of Ukraine «On Securing of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men» and with the Provision on the Ministry of Social Policy.

8. To develop a program for counteraction to anti-gender movements and to start its implementation using the resources of the central bodies of executive power and engaging NGOs.

9. To bring the activities of the regional structures in charge of implementation of the Laws of Ukraine «On Securing of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men», and «On Prevention of Violence in the Family» into compliance with these laws.

10. The Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of Ukraine should support the initiative of higher educational institutions concerning establishment of centers for gender education and include support of such centers in the activities of the State program for promotion of gender equality for 2012-2015.

11. To create sections «Gender policy» on the websites of all bodies of executive power, and to provide regular updates on the progress of implementation of the Law of Ukraine « On Securing of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men».

12. To conduct gender expert assessment of the departmental regulation enactments and, in case it is necessary, to bring them into compliance with the Constitution of Ukraine and the Law of Ukraine « On Securing of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men».

   

For the Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for human rights[65]:

13. In the annual report on the status of observance of human rights in Ukraine for 2012, to cover the status of observance of women’s rights and gender equality.

14. To invite into the Consultative Council the representatives of NGOs that are working actively and professionally in the sphere of promotion of gender equality, protection of women’s rights, and to make this process transparent.

15. To conduct training for the officers of the Secretariat of the Commissioner for human rights concerning the practice of application of the international standards and norms of the national legislation on women’s rights and gender equality in the activities of the Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for human rights and the officers of the Secretariat[66].

16. The Commissioner should create an effective and transparent mechanism for responding to complaints about facts of sex-based discrimination, engaging independent experts for this sphere and representatives of specialized non-governmental organizations. To develop a mechanism for the Commissioner to implement Article 22 «Complaints against sex-based discrimination and sexual harassment» of the Law of Ukraine «On Securing of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men».

17. Taking into account the low level of gender culture in the Ukrainian society, including that among public servants, as well as proliferation of anti-gender movements that seriously threaten the democratic values, to pay more attention on the official website to the issues of protection of women’s rights and gender equality and thus to use it as a tool not only for spreading information, but also for educational purposes.

To International and donor organizations

18. To extend the funding of the women’s organizations’ programs aimed to facilitate women’s rights and to promote gender equality.

 

 

[1]              The section was prepared by the experts of the International women’s advocacy center «La Strada – Ukraine» – K. Levchenko, L. Kovalchuk, M. Yevsiukova, O.Kalashnyk, K. Cherepakha, M. Lehenka, V. Mudryk, O. Dunebabina, and of the Informational and Consulting women’s center - O.Suslova.

[2]              www.uogcc.org.ua

[3] http://mlsp.kmu.gov.ua/

[4]              http://stopgender.wordpress.com/, www.uogcc.org.ua

[5]              http://volynrada.gov.ua/news/u-volinradi-vidbulis-sesiini-slukhannya

[6]              http://volynrada.gov.ua/projects/pro-rekomendatsiyi-sesiinikh-slukhan-z-pitannya-na-temu-z-yasuvannya-sutnosti-gendernoyi-po. Thanks to participation of Oksana Yarosh, director of Volyn Regional Non-governmental Organization «Gender Center», and Maria Alekseyenko, head of the All-Ukrainian Non-governmental Organization «Women’s Consortium of Ukraine», in the hearings, an alternative variant of the hearings recommendations was presented. As of the beginning of October, neither variant has been approved.

[7]              http://www.mlsp.gov.ua/labour/control/uk/publish/category?cat_id=138979

[8]              More detailed information on the activities of the Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for Human Rights in the direction of protection of women’s rights and promotion of gender equality is presented in the report «100 днів нового Омбудсмана»/New Ombudsman’s 100 Days/.

[9]              The Law of Ukraine «On Securing of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Men and Women», article 9. Access address: http://zakon.rada.gov.ua/cgi-bin/laws/main.cgi?nreg=1834-2006-%EF

[10] http://www.ombudsman.gov.ua

[11]             Табачник впевнений, що в магістратурі і аспірантурі краще вчаться некрасиві дівчата. - http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2012/05/17/6964716/

[12]             The Commissioner’s response and written permission to use it in the monitoring activities of the «La Strada – Ukraine» Center was sent by Ms. D. to the «La Strada – Ukraine» Center. The entry number – В/Х 436 as of August 22, 2012.

[13]             The Commissioner’s response and written permission to use it in the monitoring activities of the «La Strada – Ukraine» Center was sent by Ms. L. to the «La Strada – Ukraine» Center. The entry number – В/Х 435 as of August 22, 2012.

[14]             http://portal.rada.gov.ua

[15]             http://ecbua.info/

[16]             http://www.minjust.gov.ua/0/41950

[17]             http://la-strada.org.ua/ucp_mod_library_showcategory_55.html

[18]              http://www.ohchr.org/RU/Pages/WelcomePage.aspx

[19]              http://www.la-strada.org.ua/ucp_mod_library_view_190.html

[20]              http://coe.kiev.ua/uk/DPAInf(2011)17E%20Action%20Plan%20Ukraine.pdf

[21]              http://portal.uwf.kiev.ua/index.php?page=news&id=101

[22]             http://www.pravda.com.ua/columns/2012/05/17/6964708/

[23]             #!/lastradaukraine as of September 13)

[24]             http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb_n/webproc4_1?id=&pf3511=39973

[25]             http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb_n/webproc4_1 pf3511=42672?id=&

[26]             ht t p : / /w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb_n/webproc4_1?id=&pf3511=42765)

[27]              http://www.ugcc.org.ua/

[28]             http://maidan.org.ua/2012/05/zaboroneno-zaboronyaty-za-pravo-zhinky-vybyraty/

[29]             (http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb_n/webproc4_1?id=&pf3511=42765)

[30]             http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/radac_gs09/z_pd_list_n?zn=8487

[31]             http://www.facebook.com/

[32]             http://www.pravda.com.ua/columns/2010/10/13/5470671

[33]             http://khpg.org/index.php?r=1.6.14.1

[34]             This was the statement made by Olivier Adam, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Ukraine, in the course o the round table discussion on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on the topic «Gender and Career.»

[35]             http://www.wcu-network.org.ua

[36]             Андрій Капустін. Мажоритарка. Десять років по тому. - «Дзеркало тижня. Ukraine». - No.32, September 14, 2012. –  Access address: http://dt.ua/POLITICS/mazhoritarka_desyat_rokiv_po_tomu-108785.html

[37]             Ігор Гуцуляк. Вибори-2012 в контексті Цілей розвитку тисячоліття: http://dt.ua/

[38]             http://www.unian.ua/

[39]             http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2012/03/2/6959875/

[40]             http://la-strada.org.ua/ ucp-_mod-_news_list_show_241.html

[41]             http://maidan.org.ua/2012/05/neharni-zauchky-idut-na-ohlyadyny-do-tabachnyka/

[42]             http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2012/05/18/6964822/

[43]             http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2012/03/19/6960930/

[44]             Ґендерна політика в Україні. Ґендерний дайджест. – 2012, No. 2. – Access address: www.la-strada.org.ua (Section «Library») ; Ґендерна політика в Україні. Ґендерний дайджест. – 2012, No. 3. – Access address: www.la-strada.org.ua (Section «Library»).

[45]             http://www.uam.in.ua/

[46]             Катерина Стулень. Во сколько обходится украинцам рождение ребенка. – Сегодня, 10.09.2012. – Access address: http://www.khpg.org.ua/index.php?id=1347226456

[47]             http://lastrada.org.ua/ucp_mod_news_list_show_236.html; http://la-strada.org.ua/ucp_mod_news_list_show_236.html.

[48]             Decree of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine as of June 8, 2012 No. 345 «On Expert Council in the issues of consideration of addresses concerning facts of sex-based discrimination». – Access address: http://www.mlsp.gov.ua/labour/control/uk/ publish/article. The Decree’s text became available in public domain on the Internet only on August 15, 2012.

[49]             http://la-strada.org.ua/ucp_mod_library_view_210.html

[50]             http://www.uwf.kiev.ua/index.htm

[51]             www.gender.at.ua

[52]             www.la-strada.org.ua

[53]             www.empedu.org.ua

[54]             www.wcu-network.org.ua

[55]             More information: http://la-strada.org.ua/ucp_mod_news_list_show_291.html

[56]             One can learn about the artifacts and get more information about the contest itself at the websites of the Informational and Consulting Women’s Center (http://empedu.org.ua/content/genderna-anti-vidznakaotruta-sezonu-lito-2012) and the «La Strada-Ukraine» Center (http://la-strada.org.ua/ucp_mod_news_list_show_297.html).

[57]             www.gender.at.ua

[58]             www.empedu.org.ua

[59]             http://www.wcu-network.org.ua/ua/about/ads/Stvoreno_Merezhu_Gromadskogo_ kontrolju_za_ґendernoju _rvnstju_ na_viborax_-2012

[60]             The group’s website - http://ofenzyva.wordpress.com/

[61]             http://platfor.ma/organizers/4f4a6bba0ebdc/

[62]             www.gender.at.ua and others.

[63]             www.vsirivni.org.ua

[64]             http://www.helsinki.org.ua/index.php?id=1332329555

[65]             The recommendations concerning improvement of activity of the Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for Human Rights are presented in more detail in the report «100 днів Омбудсману» /Ombudsman’s 100 Days/. – Access address: -- http://library.khpg.org/http://khpg.org/files/docs/1347027978.pdf

[66]             The experts in women’s rights and gender issues who participated in discussion of the report expressed their willingness to conduct such trainings if the Commissioner requests so. 

 

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