Photo courtesy United Nations in Ukraine

International Women's Day (IWD), a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and calling to action for accelerating gender equality, is celebrated annually on 8 March. The day has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911.

Amid the upcoming elections in Ukraine, UNDP’s made a special focus on advocacy for increasing women’s political representation during the IWD celebrations.

We organized a series of awareness raising activities:

  1. Blerta Cela, UNDP Deputy Country Director in Ukraine, wrote an op-ed sharing the stories of some women leaders and their efforts to enhance women’s political participation in Ukraine.
  2. Larysa Denysenko, UNDP Tolerance Envoy, human rights advocate, and writer, wrote a blog on IWD and gender stereotypes [in Ukrainian].
  3. UNDP hosted a brand-new #GenderTalk to enhance in-house awareness of gender equality. We brought together over 30 change-makers from different UN agencies. The discussions focused on what the 8th of March is about and how to overcome gender stereotypes. 
  4. UNDP launched an online quiz to test people’s knowledge about IWD and women’s representation in decision-making.
  5. We also organized many discussions on how to involve more women in politics, in particular given the upcoming parliamentary and local elections. Over 65 women and men in Vinnytsia and over 20 in Chernivtsi brainstormed concrete actions to inspire female candidates to run for public office.
  6. Young women and men are drivers of change, thus we organized an interactive discussion on IWD and women in politics with over 80 university students in Kyiv. A poster exhibition “Women.Equality.Politics” was hosted at the university during the discussion.
  7. UNDP took part in an inter-agency social media campaign showcasing a series of social media posts by different UN agencies featuring photos of heads of their agency with short quotes on gender equality.
  8. UNDP took part in the Women’s March as part of the UN group.   

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