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Ukraine: Gender in Science and Security


Gender in Science and Security

24 June 2022

The innovation camp “Gender in Science and Security” was organized by Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs (KhNUIA), in collaboration with Kamianets-Podilskyi Ivan Ohiienko National University and Science Park “Science and Security”,  in hybrid format on 24 June 2022. 27 participants developed team and individual proposals.  

Winning team & solution:   

© Vitaliya Plys (security and defense sector, cadet of Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs) 

The winning idea presented a new vision for solving problems of gender in science and security and proposed ways to solve the problems of gender discrimination of women and men in Ukrainian defence and security sector. To develop and implement in public life means of countering manifestations of sexism both at the state level and in public consciousness. This was selected as the winning solution as the problems of gender discrimination were clearly described, each problem was revealed, and a possible solution was proposed for each of them, which is exactly what is needed to eliminate gender discrimination in some industries in Ukraine. Perhaps in the future, having gained more experience, these ideas can be adjusted into even larger, more influential and global ones.  

According to the results of a study by the World Economic Forum, Ukraine lost 15 positions in the Global Gender Gap Index in 2021. Currently, Ukraine ranks 74th out of 156 in the rating. For an effective solution of the problem, the proposal focuses on identifying and overcoming the underlying causes, rather than spending resources on addressing the negative consequences. Following solutions were proposed: 

  • Stimulating a change in the established gender stereotypes of society 
  • Inclusion of gender approaches in educational programs in educational institutions 
  • Introduction of gender theory into all spheres of social life, which implies a change in social reality, the purpose of which is to ensure gender equality 
  • Improvement of the legislation of Ukraine 
  • Conducting educational work in all regional and district state authorities aimed at improving gender policy in the relevant region 
  • Cooperation with the EU countries, because benefiting from the experience of countries which achieved a better level of gender equality is important.  

Testimonial from the winning participant Vitaliya Plys:  “I decided to participate in such a program for the first time. Since the problem of gender discrimination is very relevant, I wanted to try to create my own idea, my vision of this problem and propose solutions. It would be an honor to be able to do something useful that would help the world.

By participating in the program, I improved the accuracy of expressing my thoughts and the fidelity of their presentation. The idea of my presentation helped me learn more about the problem and find solutions that can help solve it in the future. I managed to find a lot of data and analyse the gravity of the problem. The event helped me to learn and understand more to create strategic conditions to eliminate gender inequality. It contributed to the emergence, development and, perhaps, the implementation of my plan in the future.

The six-month incubator program and the mentoring program help us gain new knowledge from different fields to develop ideas in a diversified way, everyone’s idea is considered individually, which helps to improve my own. I would like to advise everyone not to give up and be confident in their abilities. The main thing is to be motivated on further develop your work. A little wishful thinking and your ideas will make the world a much better place.”


Other testimonials from participants: 

“The organizers and experts turned our attitude towards shift their mind on gender.” 

“We will not be able to live and behave as we did before.” 

“I must say, this day brought me more than experience it gave me knowledge.” 

“Actually, we can use our basic understanding in a daily life!”