21 February, 2019 14:38

Majority of Ukrainians think that the woman’s role in the society is defined by the words “beauty” and "weakness"

The study of gender stereotypes in Ukraine led by the international research company Ipsos commissioned by the Elena Pinchuk Foundation project "I Can!" and the project "Vsi. Svoi" discovered that Ukrainians remain rather patriarchal and conservative when it comes to their understanding of the woman’s role in the society. A lot of respondents denied women the right to go beyond the family, to be successful in their careers and to be active and independent in their personal relationships. Although most of the stereotypes suggested in the study, however, were supported neither by women nor by men.
Majority of Ukrainians think that the woman’s role in the society is defined by the words “beauty” and "weakness" / Elena Pinchuk Foundation

An online poll defined the attitude of Ukrainians towards the most widespread stereotypes about women, which become real social labels that society imposes on them.

65% of respondents believe that a woman is defined by her appearance, that she is "first of all beautiful". 59% are still inclined to think that women are a weaker sex. 40% are sure that a man can allow or prohibit a woman from doing anything. At the same time, 30% are convinced that it is a woman who has to compromise.

Blondes are considered to be intellectually limited (23%), the women's initiative in the relationship is perceived as “easy” (21%), a woman driving an expensive car is considered to have a “sugar daddy” (21%), and a woman in a short skirt is considered a prostitute (22%).

Some stereotypes are mostly supported by men (Woman is primarily a beauty, Women are weak in mathematics, Physical jobs are not for women), and some, oddly enough, - women (Woman is a weaker sex, Women's initiative is an indicator of an “easy” female, A woman has to strive to meet beauty standards, Marriage is a vital purpose of every girl).

Despite the fact that young people are considered more progressive and free in their attitude towards gender issues, some stereotypes are supported by young people (Woman is a weaker sex, All blondes are silly, Woman in power is a harm to her family, Woman in short skirt is a slut, Housekeeping is a woman's job).

A quantitative online survey among 1,000 respondents from all over Ukraine, was conducted in December 2018.

The results of the study became the basis for the task for the participants of the competition "Don’t label others!", which was announced by the Elena Pinchuk Foundation and the platform of Ukrainian brands "Vsi. Svoi". This design competition of the special collection of women's T-shirts. The main purpose of this project is to encourage people to get rid of the stereotypes about women, not to be biased and not to split the world based on gender. The competition deadline is March 1. Detailed information about the competition is at notags.design.

A series of interviews with experts working on gender and women's rights issues was conducted during the study. They gave comments about the results of the study and assessed the current situation regarding gender issues in Ukraine.

Olena Yena, Director of Women's Leadership Program, National Democratic Institute: "In my opinion, the tragic events such as revolution, war, crisis that we are experiencing as a nation, are at the same time appear as catalysts of rapid social change. Ukraine abolished the shameful list of occupations prohibited for women, introduced gender quotas at local elections, actively introduces gender-based budgeting. And this list can be continued ... It is important to show through these studies that we are moving forward and that the vast majority of thoughtful Ukrainians seek a new quality of self-realization that is not limited by medieval or Soviet ideas about women and men.

Yelizaveta Kuzmenko, human rights defender, author of the blog about human rights at the UP:Life: "The survey once again showed that Ukrainian society is still being held captive by the outdated ideas about women and is often guided by stereotypes in its daily practices. On the other hand, more and more stereotypes lose their relevance, moving into the area of mythical perception and remnant memory. Of course, these representations of "what a woman should be" are abstract, but they can manifest in the everyday actions of everyone who translates them. The threat of these stereotypes is that they can be transformed into bias, and then - into discrimination."

Anastasia Deyeva, Executive Director of Charitable Organization "100% Life": "If we are talking about women's rights, we must teach them so that they can understand that they have the right to say no. That they are not an object, but a par excellence. That they have the same rights and freedoms as men, they have the right to become professionals and reach the peaks. That motherhood is normal. Both the state and the society have to provide an infrastructure so that a woman, while remaining a woman, can realize their human potential."

For more information, please contact Pavel Piminov, Director of Communications, Elena Pinchuk Foundation: +380 44 490 4805, [email protected].

Если вы нашли ошибку в тексте, выделите ее мышью и нажмите Ctrl+Enter

Read more