On 7-8 December 2018, Second Ukrainian Women Congress took place in Kyiv, Ukraine. Being supported by the Council of Europe since its first edition in 2017, it brings together top successful women and men from politics, business, NGOs and media to unite them around the idea of gender equality in various sectors of Ukrainian society as a basic element of sustainable development of the country. This year with more than 600 participants, and a strong support of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine*, this gathering of women and men activists from all around the world provided a perfect opportunity for promoting gender equality and women’s political and civic empowerment, launching mentorship programmes and building women's alliances, exchanging information and experiences and addressing current issues of concern for Ukrainian society.
High-level speakers included President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite, Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman, MEPs, MPs, as well as distinguished political representatives of a number of countries. Of a particular importance is the message made by the President Poroshenko to the Ukrainian Parliament on the necessity to ratify Council of Europe’s ‘Istanbul Convention’ on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
Among other support provided, Council of Europe facilitated the participation of Ms. Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Member of the European Parliament, and Ms. Karolina Leakovic, acting leader of SDP Croatia Women's Forum and Vice-President of PES Women, who shared their professional and life experience during the discussion on “Ukrainian and global trends with regard to the equal rights and opportunities of women and men”.
This Congress also became a spring-board for 15 young women activists from the Council of Europe supported Girls’ Leadership Academy “Grow UP” to discover current trends and perspectives in the future development of gender policy in Ukraine.
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* The expert and financial support for the organization of the Second Ukrainian Women Congress was provided by the Council of Europe project “Supporting the transparency, inclusiveness and integrity of electoral practice in Ukraine” and the Council of Europe programme "Decentralization and local government reform in Ukraine" implemented within the framework of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2018 – 2021.