UNDP brings together experts to review political participation of women in European countries

04 Nov 2009

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Speaking at the UNDP-led Panel Discussion on "Enhancing Political Participation of Women" Tetyana Kondratyuk, Deputy Minister for Family, Youth and Sports of Ukraine, said that Ukraine officially supported the main ideas laid out in the Declaration and Platform for Action adopted at the Beijing Conference in 1995, which allowed significant gender transformations in Ukraine.

To read the Ukrainian Beijing +15 Overview Report, click here.

“In practice, the gender equality concept is implemented in the Constitution and other laws of Ukraine. With respect to the development of the gender legislation in 2005-2006, Ukraine adopted several important acts ensuring equal rights and opportunities including Decree of the President of Ukraine, Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring Equal Rights and Opportunities of Women and Men” and State Program for Promotion of Gender Equality in Ukrainian Society to 2010”, said Deputy Minister.

Tetyana Kondratyuk assured that Ukraine almost fully fulfilled the recommendations on improving the women’s position laid out under the chapters 201 – 207 of the Beijing Platform for Action.

“It is important to note that we are developing a national mechanism for promotion of equality in order to ensure equal rights and opportunities for women and men”, – informed Head of the Ukrainian Delegation.

This mechanism is based on the engagement of representatives of public authorities – deputy heads of central public authorities, people in charge of equal rights and opportunities issues. Coordination councils on equality have been established in executive authorities and at the local level. Officers responsible for gender policy have been nominated in the secretariats of all committees of the Parliament, ministries and Regional state administrations.

“All these changes became possible due to active participation of representatives of public authorities, private sector and NGOs in the promotion of equality between women and men. The UNDP plays a special important role in supporting gender transformations in our country”, stressed Deputy Minister.

At the same time, Tetyana Kondratyuk mentioned several tasks that Ukraine has to settle in this sphere: “Though Ukraine is among few countries where Prime-Minister’s and  other high public posts are held by women, we have one of the lowest gender equality ratings (117th place according to women’s engagement in the political life) with the Ukraine ranking 61. While only 8.5% of Ukrainian Parliament members are women.”

The modern society needs political modernization. One of the main catalysts for this process is strengthening political leadership. Women-politicians are more willing to put their priorities on safety in the society, fight against corruption and crimes, social security, development of institutions for children, education, health care and employment.

“For instance, in Ukraine women lead the way not only in terms of their number, but also as employees, being a half of employed population. There are more women than men in such vital spheres as health care, education, humanities, culture, child and old-age care, services and information. At that, women do not enjoy the same opportunities as men. Gender asymmetry is evident with an obvious distortion in social positions and opportunities for women and men”, added Tetyana Kondratyuk.

At the end of her speech Deputy Minister said that undoubtedly the national governments continued playing a key role in addressing gender equality issues.

“Hopefully, the Beijing +15 regional meeting gives a way to further actions”, Tetyana Kondratyuk said.

Note to the editors: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is reviewing the situation of women from a regional perspective in preparation for the global fifteen-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in March 2010.

Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Review Process

The Beijing Conference in 1995 culminated in the ground breaking Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, representing a significant international mechanism to date that addresses the status of the world's women. Outlining twelve areas of concern including issues such as poverty, political representation and violence against women, the Platform for Action offers a global framework for countries to end discrimination and close gender gaps. Every five years since the original meeting, a global review takes place to measure and assess the progress of the world's women since the framework was first adopted.

For more information on the regional and global review processes, please visit: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/