07 2018 Fry Dep Min InteriorDeputy Minister of Internal Affairs Tetyana Kovalchuk and Special Representative Hedy FryKYIV, 14 July 2018 – Concluding a two-day visit to Kyiv, the OSCE PA Special Representative on Gender Issues, Hedy Fry (MP, Canada) underlined the need for greater equality between women and men to fully advance Ukraine’s reform agenda and conflict-resolution efforts.

“Armed conflicts have a tendency to reinforce traditional gender roles and the situation in Ukraine is no different,” Dr. Fry said. “But more equality is necessary to unlock Ukraine’s full potential and guarantee that all Ukrainians, no matter their gender, take part in rebuilding their country.”

Discussions centered on Kyiv’s efforts to promote the participation of women in public life and to combat domestic violence. They also revealed the extent to which the conflict in Ukraine had exacerbated human trafficking in the country, including trafficking of women for sexual and labour exploitation.

Fry met with a wide-range of government officials, including the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Ivanna Klympush-Tsyntsadze, the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Tetyana Kovalchuk, the Deputy Minister of Social Policy, Natalia Fedorovych, and the Ombudsman of Ukraine, Liudmyla Denisova. She also met with representatives of the parliamentary caucus “Equal Rights”, the Office of the Government Commissioner for Gender Policy, and a wide range of non-governmental organizations.

“I was pleased to see that Ukrainian officials are committed to gender equality and are working with international partners and the OSCE to achieve this goal,” said Fry.

As part of her visit, Fry also met with the Head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, and his Deputy Aleska Simkic, as well as staff from the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine.

Earlier this week in Berlin, the OSCE PA adopted a resolution on “Preventing and Combating Gender-Based Violence” which requests the OSCE to assist participating States in preventing sexual violence in armed conflict situations and encourages the OSCE and its Parliamentary Assembly to exchange best practices and training materials to combat gender-based violence.