Inspiring solutions from women and for women: TOP-10 in 2021
If you're a woman, you can do anything! But, unfortunately, you do it accompanied by sexist comments, with an increased level of danger and the need to fight for the rights that men have long freely enjoyed.
But women are working on it! Rubryka collected the top ten solutions of 2021 from Ukraine and the world, which were made by women and for women. Girl power in its best!
What is the problem?
Not decorations and not home keepers
Rape victims are still blamed for rape. Women are paid 18% less than men in the same positions. Abortion is banned in some countries, leading to women's deaths. And in educational institutions, students and teachers are still sexually harassed.
The list goes on. Discrimination on the grounds of sex exists. Both women and men face it, but it's the former who receive more sexism. What did the world do with it in 2021? In fact, a lot of good!
What is the solution?
Discrimination doesn't sell: sexist advertising has been criminalized in Ukraine
On September 10, the Verkhovna Rada passed a draft law criminalizing sexism in advertising in the second reading. The new law prohibits advertising the "superiority" of one sex over another, broadcasting stereotypical roles of women and men, and portraying bodies as sexual objects.
The penalty for violating the law is 60,000 hryvnias fine. Before that, liability for discriminatory advertising already existed, but it wasn't clear what discrimination in advertising was. Now the law is finally working.
Finally, a convenient uniform for flight attendants: a solution from the Ukrainian low-cost carrier
SkyUp has introduced a new uniform for flight attendants. Jackets have become longer and now have a straight, not fitted cut, which makes the shape look more stylish. Stewardesses will now wear straight trousers instead of skirts, and Nike Air Max 720 sneakers instead of high-heeled shoes.
The example of SkyUp was followed by the Moldovan airline Air Moldova, changing the women part of the crew in more comfortable clothes.
Ukraine has developed women's bulletproof vests for military women
In the autumn of 2021, Deputy Interior Minister Meri Akopian said on Facebook that women's models of bulletproof vests had finally been created in Ukraine. They are designed with the anatomical features of the female body in mind to be comfortable in combat or training.
"The servicewomen of the Kyiv garrison of the National Guard have received several copies from the armor protection manufacturer and are already testing them. We're waiting for feedback," Akopian wrote.
In combat boots in both battle and the parade!
And again about the uniform. On the eve of Independence Day, a scandal broke out in Ukraine: photos and videos appeared on the Internet, where women cadets of the Military Institute of the Kyiv National University sharpen their military step in heels.
The outrage of the public and many women veterans and activists reached such a scale that the Ministry of Defense decided to buy other shoes for the servicewomen, preparing to march at the parade: comfortable and without heels. Most likely, this issue will not be raised in the Ukrainian army anymore.
Free pads and tampons for schoolgirls and students
In 2021, some countries have taken a tangible step to combat so-called menstrual poverty, a phenomenon where girls and women are forced to miss school or work during menstruation because of a lack of funds for hygiene products.
At the beginning of the year, French dormitories and university buildings began to install vending machines with free pads and tampons. In June, New Zealand began providing free hygiene products to schoolgirls. According to the Prime Minister, every 12th schoolgirl in the country missed classes due to menstruation. In the fall, California's public schools and colleges were ordered to give free tampons and menstrual cups to their students.
A solution from Odesa for Romani women, wanting to get on their feet
The Odesa Charitable Foundation "Winds of Change" launched cutting and sewing courses for Romani women, and created a bedding brand Petalenca together with the graduates.
Most of the women who attended the courses never worked and were chained to household chores. Now they can make a living. Moreover, a children's room was set up near the sewing shop to make it easier for Romani mothers to study. Now the courses are ongoing, and the created products are actively sold.
Beauty salon, where women with cancer are helped to feel more confident
One of the beauty salons in Ivano-Frankivsk started helping cancer patients. Women have hairstyles and permanent makeup done.
The initiative started because cancer patients lose hair during chemotherapy. In particular, eyebrows and eyelashes fall out. In the Diva salon, the artists realized that they're ready to help such women feel more confident, so they do permanent make-up for them for free, which lasts for about a year. All makeup adjustments are also made at the expense of the salon.
Scientists for schoolgirls: a project that makes women visible in science
A series of four documentaries about Ukrainian women scientists have been released in Ukraine. The project was launched by the NGO Inscience and aimed at telling girls who are just choosing a profession that science is open to them.
In the center, we see a 15-year-old schoolgirl Masha, who, together with scientists, delves into the details of their work. The heroines are marine biologist who studies whales; a neurobiologist who grows brain organelles; a zoologist who studies large predators, and a mathematician who studies the inner waves of the ocean. All videos are available on YouTube.
How about a Feminist Ukrainian-language YouTube?
In 2021, the Ukrainian-language show Ebaut started on YouTube. Three hosts and founders of the project openly talk about sex, menstruation, money, motherhood, and everything that affects a modern human being.
In the frame, the audience sees Yasia, Nati, and Motrychka, and behind the scenes, they hear each time a new male voice, which, as the hosts are joking, "is responsible for all the men in the world." The outspoken show Ebaut breaks down stereotypes, voices what is rarely talked about, and gathers tens of thousands of views.
Women from all over the world who became the first in their positions
For the first time in a year, women have held positions previously held only by men.
- The World Trade Organization was first headed by a woman, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
- For the first time in history, the Italian secret service was headed by a woman, Elisabetta Belloni.
- Astronaut of the European Space Agency Samantha Cristoforetti will be the first woman from Europe to lead an expedition to the International Space Station.
- For the first time in the 157-year history of the Football Association of England, it was headed by a woman, Debbie Hewitt.
- Meanwhile, the first Ukrainian football commentator Halyna Vinichenko commented on the Euro 2020 matches.
- For the first time, Ukraine's mission to NATO was headed by a woman, Natalia Halibarenko.
- For the first time in New York, a woman, Kathy Hochul, became governor.
- Ukrainian Kateryna Monzul became the first woman to judge a men's football match in England.
The list is far from exhaustive, but agree, inspiring.