Gender equality policymakers, experts, and practitioners meet for the fourth time in the framework of the Ukrainian Women’s Congress to discuss challenges and develop common policies to protect women’s rights in the areas of peacekeeping, economic activity, local self-government, and the electoral process.

Representatives of the governments of Ukraine and Canada, international projects, business, research, and public organizations, as well as ambassadors of foreign countries such as Belgium, Great Britain, Canada, Germany, the USA, and others, took part in the Congress as speakers.

Participants in the discussions stressed the importance of implementing the principles of sustainable development and the exclusive role of women in the processes of building security, overcoming global crises, and establishing peace. In the context of the Women, Peace and Security (“WPS”) agenda, Larisa Galadza, Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine, stressed that societies with greater gender equality are more stable and prosperous and that the results of conflicts resolution, poverty alleviation, and peace processes regulation are more sustainable and long-lasting when women are involved in these processes and decision-making. The Ambassador also noted that Canada has accepted gender equality as a key principle of its international policy, and considers this issue in a comprehensive manner.

The prospects for implementing gender equality at the local level and the risks posed by the global pandemic were discussed during the panel discussion “Regional Policy and Decentralization: What Are the Prospects for Gender Equality”. Representatives of the government, local authorities, and deputies from Kyiv, Lviv, and Mariupol took part in the online marathon.

Oleksandr Kucherenko, PLEDDG Project Director, noted:

“The experience of PLEDDG Partner Cities proves the effectiveness of gender-balanced budgeting for community development. Therefore, PLEDDG provides systematic assistance for the creation of local development programs that take into account the needs of women and men. It also creates educational and organizational opportunities for the realization of entrepreneurial potential and enhancement of the professional competencies of women.”

Supporting gender equality as one of the key principles of international cooperation, as well as expanding economic, managerial, and electoral opportunities for women, promoting entrepreneurial initiatives, especially during the pandemic, have become the recurring points of the IV Ukrainian Women’s Congress.

As one of the partners of the Congress, PLEDDG supports the strategy of building gender-balanced governance, equality in decision-making, and taking into account the needs of women and men in local development, as a guarantee of democratic progress and economic growth.