UN Women Executive Director to visit Ukraine and Moldova

Date: Wednesday, June 7, 2017

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will undertake her first visit to Ukraine and Moldova this week. She will use this opportunity to reaffirm UN Women’s commitment to support both countries in their efforts to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka’s first stop will be Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, where she will meet with government officials, parliamentarians, donors, women's groups, and women facing multiple forms of discrimination. Her visit comes at a crucial time for Ukraine when the country addresses the effects of the on-going armed conflict and implementing an ambitious national reform agenda. The Executive Director will highlight the need to prominently feature gender equality in all reforms and recovery and peacebuilding processes.

On 8 June, the Executive Director will hold a bilateral meeting with Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Vice-Prime Minister on EU and Euro-Atlantic Integration, to reiterate UN Women’s commitment to support Ukraine in advancing gender equality and women’s rights through institutional strengthening and reforms.

Together with Vadym Chernysh, Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons, she will open a workshop on women’s human rights in recovery and peacebuilding. The workshop aims to bring together an array of partners, including displaced women from the conflict-affected territories, minority women, national and local authorities, the Ombudsperson, civil society organizations and donors to discuss the challenges faced by women in the context of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. It will also feature an interactive theater performance by displaced women and women from host communities. Following the workshop, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will hold discussions with internally displaced women from the conflict-affected territories in the east of Ukraine.

On 9 June, the Executive Director will hold bilateral meetings with key government ministries, agencies and parliamentarians. On her last day in Ukraine, 10 June, the Executive Director will launch two new UN Women initiatives; “CEDAW in Action!”, funded by the Government of Canada, and “Gender Equality at the Centre of the Reforms,” funded by the Government of Sweden, at a press conference with Vice-Prime Minister Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, as well as the ambassadors of Canada and Sweden.

In Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, the second stop on her itinerary, the Executive Director will meet with women Members of Parliament on 11 June to discuss their work on promoting women’s rights and gender balance in leadership, political participation and decision-making.

UN Women has been a steadfast advocate for women’s leadership and political participation in Moldova, and contributed to the adoption of a new law in 2016, which, for the first time, introduced gender quotas in party lists and cabinet nominees. A joint UNDP and UN Women programme, “Women in Politics” had also led to two Roma women winning seats in local elections for the first time in 2015.

On the same day, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will hold a meeting with the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group in Moldova, which consists of 15 organizations representing diverse groups of women and actively advocating for gender equality and women’s human rights in the country.

Several important bilateral meetings are scheduled to take place during her visit, including with the President and the Prime Minister of Moldova, Mr. Igor Dodon and Mr. Pavel Filip, as well as with the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Andrian Candu, to discuss Moldova’s progress in advancing gender equality and women’s rights and future priorities.

On 11 June, the Executive Director will visit Căușeni, a town in the south of Moldova, to launch a public art installation "Bright Future,” that symbolizes equality and a life free of violence for women and girls in Moldova. During the event, she will meet local authorities and women survivors of violence. In Căușeni, the Executive Director will also engage in a lively discussion with the local youth about their active involvement in the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign (25 November – 10 December).

The next day, the Executive Director will participate in a high-level event, ”Women-led solutions to ending violence against women,” where women survivors of violence, also known as “Positive Champions” for their advocacy across Moldova, will share their experience of empowering hundreds of other Moldovan women to take the first steps towards a life free of violence.

During her visit the Executive Director will meet with Mrs. Signe Burgstaller, Ambassador of Sweden in Moldova, and underline UN Women’s gratitude for the steadfast support from Sweden. Their meeting will mark 10 years of joint achievements in advancing gender equality in Moldova and discussions will focus on further cooperation between Sweden and UN Women.

Highlights of UN Women’s work in Moldova and Ukraine

Olesya Arkhypova (right) participates in interactive theatre. Photo: UN Women/Alexander Alfyorov

Internally displaced women of Ukraine find voice through interactive theatre
As the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine enters its fourth year, one organization is working to empowering internally displaced women by engaging them, along with women from the host communities, in live theatre.

Maria Scorodinschi is a survivor of domestic violence and "Positive Champion" in Moldova. UN Women Moldova/Marina Vatav

In Moldova, women survivors rise to break the cycle of violence
Using a peer-support model, UN Women Moldova’s Positive Champions initiative has supported 44 women across villages and towns to share their experience and inspire women survivors to break the cycle of violence.