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Template:Feminism sidebar Women in Ukraine have equal constitutional rights as men in the economic, political, cultural and social fields, as well as in the family. Women make up 54% of the population of Ukraine and 45% of its labor force. Over 60% of all Ukrainian women have higher education (college level and above). However, the unemployment rate of women is very high compared to men with the same educational background (80% of all unemployed in Ukraine are women), not to mention the extensive hidden unemployment among women.[1]

Labor laws establish the legal equality of men and women, including equal pay for equal work, a principle that generally was observed. However, industries dominated by female workers had the lowest relative wages and were the ones most likely to be affected by wage arrears. The Labor Code sets the retirement age for women at 55 and for men at 60. There were reports of some employers refusing to hire younger women likely to become pregnant or women over 35. Women also received lower salaries and had limited opportunity for career advancement. Few women held top managerial positions in the government or in state- owned or private industry.[2][3][4][5]

History of feminism in Ukraine

During the Soviet-era feminism was classified as a bourgeois ideology, hence counterrevolutionary and anti-Soviet.[6] Civil society and feminism were virtually nonexistent in the Soviet times.[7] After independence a feminist movement began taking root.[6] Currently there are several women's rights groups active in Ukraine,[8] including (comprising mostly of young woman) FEMEN[9] and (founded in 1921) Ukrainian Woman's Union.[10]

Woman in Ukrainian business

On average women earn 30% less then men occupying similar posts.[7]

About 50 of all enterprises without employees are woman owned. Enterprises with 1 to 5 employees are 27% woman owned. Enterprises with less than 50 employees are 30% woman owned. These numbers are similar to those in Western economies. Women tend to lead small business in retail, wholesale trade and catering.[11] 2% of large companies are headed by women.[7]

Woman in Ukrainian politics

File:Y. Tymoshenko in Poland (2008).JPG

Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko and President of Poland Lech Kaczyński (July 2008)

About 7% of the Ukrainian parliament are woman, the percentage of female lawmakers fluctuates per election.[12] About 67% of government officials are woman.[12] Laws to re-implement Soviet-era quota for woman in parliament (30% or 35%) have been debated in parliament but not approved.[12] Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko has been the only woman-led party to make it into parliament; although there have been more woman-led parties and even a few "woman issue" parties (annalist have described these as "virtual parties designed to steal votes from opposition parties").[12][13]

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov stated in March 2010 there where no female ministers in the Azarov Government (Europe's only government that has no female members in its composition[14]) because "Reforms do not fall into women's competence", while adding that he greatly respects women.[15][16] Women's groups in Ukraine reported Azarov to the country's ombudsman following this remarks. They accuse him of gender discrimination and holding neanderthal views[16] and did file different Court cases against him.[8]


  6. 6.0 6.1 A Biographical Dictionary of Women's Movements and Feminisms: Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe, 19th and 20th Centuries by Francisca De Haan), Krasimira Daskalova andAnna Loutfi, Central European University Press, 2006, ISBN 978-9637326394 (page 411 etc.)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Topless protesters gain fame in Ukraine, The Washington Post (November 19, 2010)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Women accuse Ukraine's Azarov of discrimination, Kyiv Post (April 1, 2010)
  9. Feminine Femen targets 'sexpats', Kyiv Post (May 22, 2009)
  10. Historical Dictionary of Feminism (Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies and Movements) by Janet K. Boles, The Scarecrow Press, 2004, ISBN 978-0810849464 (page 324)
  11. New Perspectives on Women Entrepreneurs by John Butler, Information Age Publishing, 2000, ISBN 978-19315767 (page 251)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Women's Social Activism in the New Ukraine by Sarah D. Phillips, Indiana University Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0253219923 (page 57/58)
  13. Virtual Politics - Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World, Andrew Wilson, Yale University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-300-09545-7
  14. Azarov's cabinet has highest number of ministers in Europe, Kyiv Post (March 16, 2010)
  15. Ukrainian Prime Minister Azarov had his office blessed, Interfax-Ukraine (March 19, 2010)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Ukrainian women berate 'Neanderthal' PM for sexist remarks, The Guardian (March 24, 2010)


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