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Women make critical contributions to peaceful and prosperous societies

International Women’s Day provides a timely reminder of women’s ongoing and critical contributions to sustainable peace and security.

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KYIV, 8 March 2021 — “While we witness daily the crippling impact that the conflict has on women and girls, men and boys, we also see the important work they all do in addressing community needs and crossing divides,” said Yaşar Halit Çevik, Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine. “Their contributions are important and their perspectives are vital to achieving peace and stability.”

Çevik highlighted that the SMM continues to incorporate a gender perspective in its activities. “We are striving to make the Mission most effective in implementing its Mandate, and gender mainstreaming is key to that,” the Chief Monitor explained. “Mixed patrols, for example, give us greater access to different interlocutors. And by looking at the different experiences and security needs of all members of society, we can provide a fuller picture of the actual situation on the ground.”

The OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine (PCU) assists Ukraine in elaborating and promoting policies that eliminate gender imbalance and support participation of women, including in spheres of life traditionally dominated by men — from politics to military service, justice and law enforcement. Notably, for the past year, the Co-ordinator supported the production of reference guides, “Gender Policy in Legal Documents” and “Guidebook on Gender Integration in the Ukrainian Armed Forces”, to strengthen local expertise. 

“Women make a significant contribution in building a secure, stable and prosperous future for Ukraine. It is in the best interest of all of society to lift barriers where women’s roles are limited due to stereotypes or traditional norms,” said Henrik Villadsen, OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine.

Practical assistance is also provided by the PCU to curb violations of women’s rights. The PCU offers training courses to legal professionals and civil society on gender aspects of criminal and constitutional justice, assists in the development of gender competencies framework for judges and helps law enforcement officers improve response to domestic violence. All of the PCU’s projects include and take into account gender perspectives.

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