UARU
March for Women's Rights: "We Have a Problem, We Won't Close Our Eyes To It."
8 March, 2018
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Several hundred people marched through the streets of Kyiv on March 8 to highlight women’s struggles for equality.

March for women's rights, called “Tolerate no more.” Photo credit: Anastasia Vlasova/HROMADSKE

March for women's rights, called “Tolerate no more.” Photo credit: Anastasia Vlasova/HROMADSKE

The event set out to reject notions of femininity and 'spring holiday' that are often associated with International Women’s Day in Eastern European countries. Participants chanted: "Freedom, equality, women's solidarity" as they marched their way across central Kyiv.

March for women's rights, called “Tolerate no more.” Photo credit: Anastasia Vlasova/HROMADSKE

March for women's rights, called “Tolerate no more.” Photo credit: Anastasia Vlasova/HROMADSKE

Similar marches were held in other cities, including Kharkiv in the northeast of Ukraine.

March for women's rights, called “Tolerate no more.” Photo credit: Anastasia Vlasova/HROMADSKE

March for women's rights, called “Tolerate no more.” Photo credit: Anastasia Vlasova/HROMADSKE

Hromadske asked the women who attended the march why they did so and how gender equality can be achieved in Ukraine.

Catherine

"Every woman is a person, just like everyone else around them. In order for something to change, you have to at least start doing something. It’s necessary to [ratify] the Istanbul Convention, that’s a step against domestic violence. The statistic is horrible in this respect – in 2017, 600 women were killed as a result of domestic violence. It’s such a horrifying figure, I just don’t understand how this is possible."

March for women's rights, called “Tolerate no more.” Photo credit: Anastasia Vlasova/HROMADSKE

Anastasiia Shevchenko

"I came here despite the fact that many say: a fight means doing something on a daily basis, why set aside a certain day or date for it. A march is needed to show how many people find something to be a relevant problem. And I have to physically do that myself.”

Maria Omelchenko

"I am a scientist; at school, I participated in competitions and conferences. When I got through to higher stages, to the national level, I would be told: 'You do understand that you are a girl and your place isn’t here?' It turned out that I would be the only girl among all the participants. And today is not a spring holiday or a celebration of beauty, as they say. It is a holiday for women’s rights and for equality. That's why I came out today."

March for women's rights, called “Tolerate no more.” Photo credit: Anastasia Vlasova/HROMADSKE

Tetyana

"We live in a patriarchal world and this hinders us. I wrote that at its highest, women only represent 12 percent of the government - of the Verkhovna Rada. And this is the highest figure in the history of independent Ukraine. Only two women head ministries. It is necessary to introduce feminitives into our language, so that professions aren’t divided into women's and non-women’s jobs."

March for women's rights, called “Tolerate no more.” Photo credit: Anastasia Vlasova/HROMADSKE

Ornella

"When you go for a job interview, you are asked if you have a husband, are you planning to have children? If you have no husband – are you dating; if there is a man in your life – are you going to have kids; you will have a child and work less. That is, if you’re a woman, you are a worse candidate than a man. We must fight this."

March for women's rights, called “Tolerate no more.” Photo credit: Anastasia Vlasova/HROMADSKE

Neckama

"I go to these marches annually – last year I went in Odesa. Because our rights are a very strange subject. In theory, we have them. But in reality, we don’t. Everything looks fine on paper, 'what are these women missing?' Statistics tell us about both violence against women and the glass ceiling. I came out here today to lead by example, to show we are here and we have a problem and we will not close our eyes to it."

March for women's rights, called “Tolerate no more.” Photo credit: Anastasia Vlasova/HROMADSKE

/By Anastasia Vlasova