Shaping the futures of young people and women in Donbas

Dec 8, 2016

UNDP brings together over 150 young people and women from Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts to design grassroot solutions to their specific economic and social challenges and provide insights into economic opportunities, business development, community mobilization, human rights, and protection against gender-based violence.

Sviatohirsk, December 8, 2016 – A three-day Forum bringing together representatives of young people’s and women’s organizations of  Donetsk and Luhansk regions, called “Together for the Future,” closed today, after intensive exchanges of views and ideas, networking, and the formation of new partnerships in a bid to stimulate economic growth and mobilize these two communities around human rights and gender issues.

Funded by the European Union, Sweden and the Swiss Confederation, the Forum enabled boys, girls and women to learn how to tackle the specific challenges that they face, as women and young people tend to be unemployed or underpaid and left behind in the business market in Donbas, while a lack of leadership skills prevents these two groups from effectively mobilizing their communities, thereby limiting their potential to have a civic impact.

One of the Forum’s thematic session addressed economic opportunities, business planning and development to compensate for the lack of experience and startup capital to launch a business, as well as limited access to information and business education, which were identified as key economic challenges facing young people and women in Donbas.

Another session on human rights focused on the social needs specific to young people and women, including gender-based violence – a worrisome issue in the region, as the Principal Department of the National Police of Ukraine has reported 4,397 cases of domestic violence since the beginning of 2016 in the Donetsk region alone, 95% of them being reported by women, while UN reports that a mere 30% of violent offenses are reported to the Ukrainian police.

“It is the first time that women and young people from Donetsk and Luhask regions are given the opportunity to talk about the issues that they are facing everyday, and to raise what possible solutions they see to them,so we can together find ways of addressing them and mobilize resources to help them meet their needs” said Kunal Dhar, UNDP Recovery and Stabilization Advisor and Head of Project Office in Ukraine.

UNDP will compile a set of recommendations in order to implement the initiatives designed and presented at the Forum by young people and women from Donetsk and Luhansk and circulate them among UN agencies and partner organizations in February 2017.

“The key is to look for ways to empower communities, in particular young people and women, to safeguard their rights, their safety, and their dignity.  Only together we can build a better and safer future, and make positive change happen in the policies and the attitudes that shape their communities,” Dhar concluded.

Contact information

Yevgeniy Zelenko UNDP Media Officer | (044) 253-9363 |



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