The Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy was first introduced in Ukraine
On May 22 in Kyiv the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine presented for the public the Gender Equality Strategy for 2018-2023, that was adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in March of 2018. Representatives of all 47 member states of the Council of Europe took part in the creation of this document. The presentation event appeared to be the first one among the Council of Europe member-states.
The document identifies the key goals, priorities and working methods of the Council of Europe on gender equality issues for the following 6 years. In addition, key partners have been selected and the list of activities has been determined that will help achieve better results in the implementation of the tasks.
The overall goal for the coming years is outlined as the achievement of an effective implementation of the policy of gender equality and empowerment for women and men in the Council of Europe member-states.
In the long term, the stated goals and directions should help member-states of the Council of Europe to find possible tools to combat gender-based violence, as well as to formulate gender mainstreaming policies, which for the first time will be considered at different levels. Among the key areas of work the following ones are defined:
- Preventing and combating gender stereotypes and sexism.
- Preventing violence against women and domestic violence.
- Ensuring equal access of women to justice.
- Achieving balanced participation of women and men in the process of political and social decision-making.
- Protecting the rights of female migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers.
- Implementing the strategy for achieving gender equality in all policies and activities.
Among other initiatives, the Office of Council of Europe plans to lobby for ratification in Ukraine of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence and the fight against these phenomena.
Ukraine demonstrates support for the values of the Council of Europe. In particular, the adoption by the Ukrainian Government in April of 2017 of the Concept of the State Social Programme for Ensuring Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men for the period up to 2021 in numerous ways is in line with the new Council of Europe Strategy. In addition, thanks to the cooperation of the Ukrainian authorities with the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine, it is already possible to observe successful changes in the implementation of gender equality. And this in turn confirms that the tasks of the Council of Europe Strategy are being implemented in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Government has already started the process of gender equality mainstreaming and plans to continue to work in this direction with the support of the Council of Europe Office and NGOs.
For the first presentation of the Strategy among its member-states, the Council of Europe chose Ukraine specifically and also ensured the translation of its programmes into the Ukrainian language. Moreover, it should be noted that at present only the Ukrainian Office among all of the global offices of Council of Europe has a separate expert position within its structure for gender issues, namely Ms Katja Tiilikainen, who serves as the Gender Advisor of the Office Council of Europe in Ukraine.
The National Council as a permanent partner of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine also supports the Gender Equality Strategy for 2018-2023, and fully agrees that this problem concerns the Ukrainian society as much as it does other countries of the world. The National Media Regulator emphasizes the role of the media in the formation and dissemination of gender stereotypes, which inevitably reinforce the gender division and intolerance between women and men. Such approaches of the national media, as evidenced by studies conducted in this area, slow down the processes of integration of gender equality.
The National Council in cooperation with other governmental agencies and community and affiliated associations has already developed a mechanism for influencing advertisers who produce promotional products with features of gender discrimination or sexism, but the prohibitory methods are not always effective. The national media must be aware of their responsibilities and must understand that society is changing very quickly and responds to any manifestation of intolerance, and therefore they should adhere to journalistic standards and ethical codes, otherwise they will inevitably lose their audience.