Equality is the foundation of a democratic society, the key to its successful development and the rule of law. Ukraine prolongs to make progress on this path. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stressed in his opening address to the participants of the IV Ukrainian Women’s Congress on November 25.
According to the Head of Government, the year of 2020 has become a crucial year for ensuring equal rights for men and women in public policy. The best world practice has been introduced in the Electoral Code of Ukraine to achieve a balance of equality within the electoral process, the PM added.
"For the first time in local elections, parties had to adhere to quotas: each list must include at least 40% of members of the same gender. And the result did not take long. First of all, dozens of women decided to try themselves in politics and proved themselves," said Denys Shmyhal.
The Prime Minister noted that according to preliminary data of public activists, most women were elected in small communities with up to 10,000 voters - almost 42%. In district councils, 33.7% of elected deputies are women, in community councils with more than 10,000 voters - almost 33%, in regional councils - 28%.
"I am glad that this process starts with communities. This is a social transformation. I believe that in combination with the decentralization reform it will give a new impetus to the sustainable development of the regions," the Head of Government stressed.
In his speech, the Prime Minister also raised the issue of equal opportunities in the labor market. According to him, if the equality of rights and responsibilities of women and men are proven legally equal, then equality of opportunities still needs serious work.
"Unfortunately, our society still experiences the discriminatory treatment of employers towards women employees. The Ministry of Social Policy notes that in terms of wages alone this leads to a gap of up to 25%. Women are underpaid a quarter of the salary due to bias, male and female professions, maternity leave, age, appearance and even character," noted Denys Shmyhal.
The Head of Government stressed that the expansion of rights and opportunities and the achievement of equality of rights have a significant positive impact in all areas and contribute to the economic growth of the country as a whole, as evidenced by many European countries.
"Political participation in state-building processes, economic participation, opportunities for professional realization or other spheres of society - the rights of all, regardless of gender, religion, social status and race, age, must be protected everywhere. Equal conditions mean equal access to opportunities for growth and fulfillment of the potential of each particular person," the Prime Minister stressed.
Besides, Denys Shmyhal reminded that this year the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy had signed a decree on urgent measures to prevent and combat domestic violence, gender-based violence.
"This is an important part of state policy in this direction. Together with the First Lady Olena Zelenska, we held round tables and meetings on this topic. We have embarked on the development of mechanisms of PUP kind of partnership in the work on preventing and combating violence," the Head of Government said.
According to the Prime Minister, the joint work of the government and public organizations is the key to success in solving the injustice and problems that currently exist in Ukraine.