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In the Heat of the Parliamentary Hearing in Ukraine UNFPA Advocates for Gender Equality and Rights of Older Persons

The human rights protection in Ukraine has been discussed during the special Parliamentary hearings organized by the Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and International Relations on June 12, 2013, at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The hearings entitled “State of Human Rights Observance in Ukraine” gathered representatives of Ukrainian ministries, the High Court and the General Prosecutor Office as well as human rights activists and NGOs representatives.

The speeches and presentations touched upon a number of important issues, related to the penitential system and judiciary authority activities in Ukraine, observance of the freedom of speech and other freedoms in the country.

UNFPA Representative Ms.Nuzhat Ehsan, in her presentations at the hearing, drew the attention of the audience to the issue of gender equality in Ukraine.

She stressed that, although in the last two decades Ukraine has achieved significant progress in promoting gender equality, it is far from becoming a reality in Ukraine. According to the 2013 Human Development Report and the gender inequality index, Ukraine is ranked 57th among 186 countries.

UNFPA Representative outlined the number of issues to be addressed in this regard, namely: gender gaps in wages, persistence of stereotypical notions regarding the role and status of women, which in turn result in gender based occupational segregation, underrepresentation of women in management positions and in the Parliament.

Ms.Ehsan also spoke on the issue of Older Persons and protection of their rights. By share of population aged 60 years and above, Ukraine belongs to the top 30 “oldest” countries of the world. The demographic phenomena of ageing is creating new challenges for Ukraine which need to be met with appropriate and urgent policy response, she stressed.

Ms.Nuzhat Ehsan remarks were immediately cited by one of the high-profile Ukrainian news magazine “Korrespondent” in the reprint of the article by Deutsche Welle Russian Service correspondent Aleksandr Savitski.

Photos by Mykola Bilokopytov.