4 March 2016 – This year, the UN called for the celebration of International Women`s Day on the theme of “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”, emphasizing that ensuring gender equality is not only a matter of social justice, but also an important prerequisite for sustainable development of the society.

“Achieving gender equality is at the center of sustainable development, because without gender equality and women`s active participation in the society, economy and governance we can never achieve such a high level of development as people aspire. That is why, among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, it is not just one of the goals that is dedicated to achievement of gender equality and empowerment of women, but other goals include a gender component as well,” said Jacek Tyszko, the acting UN Coordinator in Ukraine.

In Ukraine, in spite of a strong legislative framework, women and girls face daily discrimination in political, economic and social sphere. Representation of women in decision-making processes remains to be very low: among the members of the parliament, 12% are women, and in the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine – 11%. The difference in wages between women and men is 23.7%. This is not only caused by horizontal and vertical segregation in the labor market, but also by unequal pay for equal work. Despite the fact that women have been those who suffered most from the conflict, they are practically excluded from the process of peace talks, bringing security and restoration of peaceful life in eastern Ukraine.

Civil society organizations in Ukraine also emphasize the importance of equal participation of women in decision-making, including in peace-building and security, access of vulnerable groups to humanitarian aid and social services, combat against domestic and sexual violence, and human trafficking, which have aggravated as a result of social and economic crisis and military conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Olena Suslova, Head of Women`s Information Advisory Center, said, “If the society followed the path of gender transformations, we could all feel it for ourselves. Full use of women`s educational potential can increase the welfare of the society by a third. Overcoming domestic violence and violence against women can significantly reduce the cost of overcoming their negative consequences. Life today is impossible without account to the gender factor”.

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The International Women`s Day 2016 emphasizes the need to intensify action to fulfill the 2030 Agenda, as well as the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals. Also, a UN Women initiative “We advocate for gender equality” is noteworthy, as well as other programs in the area of gender equality, empowerment of women and protection of their rights. http://www.un.org/ru/events/womensday/

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Contact information for media:

Victoria Andrievska,UN office in Ukraine, +380442539363, andrievska@un.org