TALLINN - A two-year development cooperation between the Estonian Human Rights Center and a non-governmental organization in eastern Ukraine was launched in September this year to create more equal opportunities for women and internal refugees in Ukraine.
The cooperation has been launched with the NGO Equal Opportunities Platform, the main objective of which is to empower women and displaced persons.
The NGO operates in the country's fourth biggest city, Dnipro, in eastern Ukraine.
"The major business sectors in the Dnipro region are lagging behind in diversity management and in the empowerment of women and other vulnerable groups as well as in the provision of inclusive workplaces. Even though an increasing number of highly qualified women with higher education are joining the organizations, the leading sectors, such as IT and industry, remain very sexist and all too male. More initiatives, campaigns and training are needed to improve managements' awareness in this area and have conversations about diversity and inclusion. The cooperation with the Estonian Human Rights Center will help us do it," head of Equal Opportunities Platform Maryna Shevtsova said.
Through the project, cooperation will be developed between businesses, the third sector and the public sector for the purpose of creating more equal opportunities in the region for women and domestic refugees. As part of the project, the Ukrainian partner will create a functioning network of organizations that hold diversity, equal treatment and the rule of law in high regard. Experts of the Estonian Human Rights Center will share their experience in creating and maintaining a diversity agreement network in Estonia.
"Launching a development cooperation project with a new partner during the COVID-19 pandemic is risky, but we know that during crises, vulnerable groups living in developing countries are in the biggest need of support. After seven years of military conflict, domestic refugees are one of the biggest vulnerable groups in Ukraine and in the context of the pandemic, the women among them are in a particularly complicated situation. The center's experience shows that visible support by private companies helps create faster change in the society and this is what we aim to achieve in cooperation with out project partner," director of the Estonian Human Rights Center Egert Runne said.
The project runs for two years and is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Estonia's development and humanitarian assistance instruments.