In EU countries, gender equality is a core value. Women are supported in their rights linked to equal economic independence, equal pay, equality in decision-making, ending gender-based violence, and tackling gender stereotyping. In Ukraine, the EU supports projects focused on protecting women against domestic violence, developing their leadership and business skills, as well as helping women affected by the conflict in the Donbas region
Below is an extract from an interview recorded by Kraina FM radio station with Ukrainian journalist Yanina Sokolova.
“In addition to being the media ambassador of the movement HeForShe, two years ago, I acted in the film “The Woman”. This film has been shot in Paris by a Ukrainian-French team. It was one of the best films recognised by a social film festival in Paris, France. Its storyline features a Ukrainian woman who is married to a French man and is exposed to hushed and invisible violence every day. This film tells us a story about Ukrainian women who sometimes swallow their pride. “Beating your wife is a sign of love” is a view that has endured since the Soviet period. This is just horrible. Keep your mind off such thoughts.
The second important point is independence.
This is an enormous challenge. I don’t have a daughter. However, my sons know for sure that their mother is independent financially, ideologically, and psychologically. You are the only one, your value is you. You can be independent of your husband, employer, or society. You may say that this is impossible. This is possible. You can be psychologically independent. There is no doubt that we have to adhere to certain rules in society.I don’t want you to get rid of such rules. Everyone has his or her own rules. Anyway, they exist. I just want you to try to be independent. If there is the slightest hint of physical or emotional abuse, first of all, you should consult a psychologist on the reasons for this. Maybe this happens also through your fault. But if this is the fault of your partner, you should consult a doctor together. And if this doesn’t help, I would recommend you to leave this person. Physical abuse is at all an atrocity.
In fact, there are several organisations dealing with domestic violence issues.
My only request to you, dear women and maybe also men, is not to be silent and not to endure. We have only one life to live. I am telling this to you as a woman who was staying at the National Cancer Institute during this period a year ago and didn’t know where she stood. And a few days ago, I was standing on the stage of Zhovtnevyi Palace before a great many famous people. I live quite an active life and appreciate every day as the last one. Tomorrow is not promised. I don’t put a scare into you. I just want you to be happy and get a kick out of and benefit from your life to the full. We have only one life to live. And we don’t know for sure whether we will reincarnate and what is there in heaven. And it doesn’t matter who you believe in. So, take care of yourself.”
Listen to the podcast version of radio programme: