The political participation workshop for women, “I Am a Councillor”, is only one of a wealth of activities being implemented by UNDP Ukraine between August 2020 - October 2021. The workshop is part of the Strengthening the Role of Women in Politics and Local Decision-Making project, which received financial support from the Government of Norway.
Although the training is over, we stay in touch with the participants. Today we want to share the stories of ten exciting leaders. In partnership with the Women are 50% of Ukraine’s Success project, a series of interviews with local council members was held to get to know and explore the life principles of women who are transforming Ukrainian communities.
We talked to women local leaders not only about the origins and development of their political careers, but also about key challenges and achievements that drive them to move forward. The topics of stereotypes and prejudices about the role of women in politics was also discussed; the participants shared their experiences and stressed the importance of support from families and friends. These interviews also highlight the importance of education, the peculiarities of election campaigns and, most importantly, how to continue to pursue goals and act for the good of communities despite failures and disappointments.
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“I realized that one soldier does not make a battle, so I gathered a team. I became the chair of a condominium. However, local authorities did not need it. We were sabotaged. First, the elevators in the house were turned off. We live in a 14-storey building, just think of it! In addition, we have a person with a disability who simply cannot leave her apartment. I thought, people would execute me for setting up this condo. But they trusted in me. We raised money, did an inspection, and restarted the elevators ourselves.”