“Women’s Rights are Human rights” – the Ombudsperson’s Office noted again

Feb 7, 2017

Kyiv, 7 February 2017 - The Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner’s for Human Rights has launched its Alternative report on implementation of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Based on desk and field research, the report addresses women's access to education, women's access to health care, participation of women in the political and public life, trafficking in women and domestic violence, and the rights of rural women in Ukraine.

In her opening remarks the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Valeriya Lutkovska said: “Presentation of an alternative view of the current situation in the area of equal opportunities for women and men is our main task. Further, we want to receive real recommendations since we should together work on its implementation”.

The alternative report points that the practical implementation of the Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring Equal Rights and Opportunities of Men and Women” that sets forth the definition of sexual harassment and the procedure of complaint doesn’t establish any efficient mechanism of remedy.

Conducting a monitoring of implementation of the CEDAW Convention the Ombudsperson’s Office stressed that some types of works are prohibited for women. So women still can’t drive vehicles with more than 14 passenger seats (except trolleybuses and trams), tractors and other agricultural vehicles, sea and river boats, or be employed at a number of industrial and agricultural positions. Also a significant gender pay gap is observed in various sectors of economy, including the industry – 25.9%, financial and insurance activities – 33.6%, postal and courier activities – 35.4%.

The Ombudsperson’s Office cannot help emphasizing most critical issues of the access to education of Roma girls and women, poor general living standards of rural women and challenges were faced by rural women in the area of access to health care. About half of surveyed rural women can’t afford certain medicines or paid medical services, 30% had poor access to a dentist and 28% had poor access to a gynecologist.

“Around the country, women are still falling victim to numerous forms of discrimination and inequalities, irrespective of their level of professional, family, social or political life. Women are also the most frequent victims of domestic and human trafficking” summarized Aksana Filipishyna, Representative of the Commissioner for observance of the rights of the child, non-discrimination and gender equality.

As Ukraine comes under CEDAW review 14 February 2017, the Ombudsperson’s Office plans with the UNDP support to present to the CEDAW Committee its alternative report’s findings and recommendations to offer including these recommendations into a Committee’s final observation for Ukraine.

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