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EU provides EUR 1 million to respond to COVID-19 impact on women and enhance gender equality in Ukraine

August 13, 2021.

    EU and UNFPA join their efforts to provide gender-responsive emergency support to address the COVID-19 aftermath and strengthen gender equality in Ukraine within the flagship programme ‘WE ACT: Women Empowerment Action’. The programme is aimed to protect women from gender-based violence (GBV), remove barriers for women’s leadership and support female frontline healthcare responders to COVID-19.
    “Every day, Ukrainian women and girls are facing gender stereotypes, sexism and discrimination, which pose barriers to their personal and professional development. Athletes are leaders of thoughts, examples of leadership and will. Having effective tools in hands, they are able to promote women's leadership and gender equality. This is the focus of one of the components of the WE ACT program. Expanding the economic, social and political opportunities of women and using 100% of their potential is the key to Ukraine's success,” said First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova.
    “This 18-month Programme is developed to strengthen women’s rights, opportunities, and resilience by mitigating the COVID-19 impact, identifying opportunities for addressing gender gaps and improving capacities of civil society to promote gender equality, dismantle gender stereotypes and hold duty bearers accountable for the implementation of gender equality commitments in the long run. Together with UNFPA we support women in Ukraine and respond to the main pandemic-related challenges from a gender angle”,Tetiana Shulha, Gender focal point at the European Union Delegation to Ukraine.
    WE ACT Programme consists of 3 components:
    We Act for women protection from GBV. The growing number of GBV cases requires strengthening and expansion of the existing GBV services at the local level. Civil society organisations that have experience in working with survivors and those at risk of GBV can fill in the existing gap in provision of such services. The programme addresses the growing demand in quality services for GBV cases through enhancing civil society organisations in 12 regions of Ukraine and providing seed funding for the respective CSOs.
    We Act for frontline female healthcare responders to COVID-19. Since in Ukraine women represent 83.1 percent of healthcare workers, it is critical to support their needs, including at the frontline of the COVID-19 response. Given that women provide the main part of primary healthcare interventions including frontline interaction at the community level, it is concerning that not enough attention is given to how their work environment may be discriminatory, as well as what sexual and reproductive health needs they have as frontline healthcare workers. The programme provides female sanitary kits for healthcare workers which is crucial for their female health and dignity.
    We Act to remove barriers for women leadership. In the attempt to shift the paradigm and introduce innovative approaches to our work on fighting gender inequality, we have identified female diplomacy both professional and public as an entry point that will allow us to enhance capacity and engage a greater audience to raise awareness on the benefits of gender equality.
    “I am happy to be a part of the WE ACT programme - to study from and share experience with a female colleague from the diplomatic service. As an athlete, I have repeatedly felt the pressure of gender stereotypes, so I am ready to work for the benefit of athletes of future generations." said Anna Rizatdinova, Bronze medalist of the 2016 Olympic Games.
    “COVID-19 revealed the essential roles that women play in society: as leaders, as entrepreneurs, as frontline healthcare workers, as trusted community leaders. But it also revealed the fragility of a social construct that depends on women performing multiple and often underpaid, invisible roles. It also puts women and girls at higher risk of suffering from violence, limiting their bodily autonomy and their access to basic public services such as health, education and social protection. WE ACT Programme streamed to the most affected aspects to ensure women’s security, wellbeing and opportunities”, Jaime Nadal, UNFPA Representative in Ukraine, said.
    The outlined components ensure mitigation of negative economic, social, psychological, health, security implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls and support promotion of gender equality across Ukraine.
    Background: Programme “WE ACT: Women Empowerment Action” is funded by the European Union and is implemented by UNFPA Ukraine. The programme will run for 18 months.
    For more information please contact UNFPA Ukraine Communications and Advocacy Officer, Alona Zubchenko, zubchenko@unfpa.org.

Supported by Eurasia Foundation Supported by Eurasia Foundation