On October 28, Kyiv hosted a round table on global experience in implementing gender perspectives in security and defense sectors. Deputy Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs Mr. Igor Dolhov and Mr. Serhiy Kyslytsia respectively, MP of Ukraine Mariya Ionova, UN Women Gender Adviser Mrs. Anastasia Dyvynska, representative of Ukrainian Women's Fund Nataliya Karbovska, Deputy Director NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine Ann-Kristin Bjergene, and some international security and defense experts attended the event. At the round table conference, the representatives of Ukraine reported on progress made in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325: Women, Peace and Security.
Mr. Dolhov, the Deputy Minister of Defense, informed that Ukraine adopted the National Action Plan in support of UNSCR 1325 and in June 2016, they amended and expanded the list of combat jobs open to women in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Mariya Ionova thanked the Ministry of Defense for a positive response to the initiatives of the Equal Opportunities Caucus, all-round support and cooperation. She noted that close cooperation between women MPs, ministries and departments helped keep gender equality a top priority and she hopes it soon will become standard practice in the society.
Serhiy Kyslytsia, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that he was glad that the implementation of Resolution 1325 began around this time and was supported by the government, since a few years ago many great initiatives died on the vine for the lack of political will to change and reform. Mr. Kyslytsia took the opportunity to invite the UN Women Director, through Mrs. Dyvynska, to visit Ukraine, the site of the only active war in Europe, where the war brought up the issue of women's participation in security and defense, which was the topic of the roundtable discussion.
It was good for the Ukrainian participants to learn the experience of other countries. The Georgian colleagues, representative of the Ministry of Defense of Georgia Mr George Amanatidze and expert of NGO International Women's Center Mamuka Gachechiladze, came to Ukraine to take part in the round table. Given that Georgia fought the war with its neighboring country back in the 90’s and considering some similarities, both in the way people think and country history, it was very important to hear about Georgia’s reform path and best practices applicable to Ukraine’s situation.
On the other hand, it was interesting to learn the perspective of Norway, one of Scandinavian countries that have always been champions of gender equality. In his appealing message, Hans Petter Midttun, the Norwegian Defense Attaché to Ukraine, said, “Women's rights are human rights. Nothing more. But nothing less!” The serviceman of the country with 5 million people that has seven female generals also noted that intelligence, professionalism and motivation have no gender.
Pictures of women taking part in the anti-terrorist operations were exhibited at the event.