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Masculinity Today: Men's Attitudes To Gender Stereotypes And Violence Against Women

KYIV, UKRAINE, June 13, 2018 − UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, presented the first national comprehensive study "Masculinity today: Men's attitudes towards gender stereotypes and violence against women" in Ukraine.


"Gender equality and the elimination of gender-based violence are among the key areas of the UNFPA activities in Ukraine. We observed an interesting pattern: men from social strata, all educational levels and all regions of Ukraine share similar opinions and attitudes when it comes to gender-based violence. We have obtained remarkable results that will help us and many other stakeholders to develop policies and programs for promoting equality of women and men in Ukrainian society", said Mr. Caspar Peek, UNFPA Representative in Ukraine.

The personality, in particular, male personality, has always been developing under the social and cultural pressure, which in a way imposes certain standards to abide by. Therefore, the study of socio-cultural practices of men yields obvious empirical results not only in the context of promoting gender equality, but also for solving other social issues: creating an advanced education system, developing the health sector and improving the socio-demographic situation, improving labor market policies and strengthening social protection of workers with family duties, enhancement of public safety, etc.


"The research has shown that it is the closest social circle that affects men's attitudes, rather than influential persons, opinion leaders, or social institutions. This makes our task more challenging, but also opens up an immense opportunity: through work with parents, relatives and friends, that is, the closest personal network of men, we may shape behavioral models centered around the respect for the dignity of each person", − said Deputy Minister of Social Policy Ms. Natalia Fedorovych.

Every seventh man had witnessed his father committing physical violence against his mother. This experience adversely impacts the child's mentality and can lead to the perception of domestic violence as normalized in the relations.


Gender is a social construct, and people have the opportunity to influence the formation and content of perceptions of the "male" and "female". Overcoming gender stereotypes that determine the behavior of adult men is a difficult task. Maintaining gender equality and finding effective strategies to address these important social issues remain among the priorities of the UK Government", said Mrs. Judith Gough, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Ukraine.

Stable expectations regarding marital relationships patterns persist in Ukrainian society, assigning the breadwinner role to men and obligating women to manage the household, provide everyday support to the family and care for their children. In particular, almost 70% of the surveyed men agreed with the statement that the key role of women is to take care of their house and cook food for the family.

The study showed that only 27% of Ukrainian men used childcare leave. At the same time, vacations were short-term ones: only one man was on leave for a year. Most of those who took leave after the birth of a child were divided into four groups: 1-3 days' leave − 20%, 4-7 days − 24%, 8-14 days − 28%, 15 days and longer − 28%.


"In Sweden, a 90-day childcare leave is available to each parent and cannot be transferred between family members. Now men take 30% of such leave. This changes perception, it marks a change in social roles. In Sweden it was a long path, while Ukraine is just taking first steps along it. It is very important to talk about fatherhood. I see a modern generation of Ukrainian dads and they seem to be really different. Now, walking with my child around the city, I see more men with children, which is very pleasing", Mr. Martin Hagström, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden, shared his thoughts.

The study results showed a high level of tolerance towards domestic violence among men (in particular, 18% of respondents justify physical abuse in case of adultery) and their bias towards victims of sexual violence, who are often blamed for provoking crimes through their own behavior or lifestyle (about half of respondents doubted the possibility of rape if the woman was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or had a spoiled reputation).


"Mammoths got extinct, while gender stereotypes survived. We should finally define the concepts and interpret them correctly, because the gender is not equal to LGBT, and gender equality does not only promote the right to self-realization, but is also beneficial for men themselves. In particular, their lifespan is now shorter because of the detrimental impact of these stereotypes. That is why gender sensitivity screening of school textbooks is so important, as it will promote the upbringing of the new generation", said Roman Hreba, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine.

Photos from the study presentation:



The study background:

The survey covered 1,520 men aged 18-59 in all regions of Ukraine, except for the Crimea.

The research work and the publication of this report were carried out at the expense of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Government of the United Kingdom, in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine.

A quantitative study was conducted on the basis of the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES), developed by Promundo and the International Center for the Research of Women (ICRW).


Photos from the event: