ADC Memorial welcomes the adoption of the Ukraine UPR outcome following the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council

After the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council that took place in Geneva from 26th February to 23th March 2018, ADC Memorial welcomes the adoption of the Ukraine UPR outcome. Through consultation with civil society the Ukrainian government accepted 162 recommendations out of 190.

Gender-based discriminations and violence against women were at the heart of the recommendations of diplomatic delegations to the government of Ukraine, from the large call to ratify the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence to concerns about the prohibition for women to exercise certain professional occupations.

Ukraine accepted the recommendations regarding the ratification of the Istanbul Convention and announced that the ratification is on the agenda of the Parliament of Ukraine. Ukraine accepted to intensify efforts to reduce wage inequality between men and women. More generally, Ukraine accepted recommendations regarding the promotion of gender equality in all spheres and noted that on December 2017 the Parliament adopted Law on Prevention and Combating Domestic Violence which, inter alia, criminalizes domestic violence, regulates cooperation of law enforcement agencies and social security bodies on prevention and combating gender-based violence, provides access to free legal aid for victims of domestic violence or gender-based violence, establishes the Unified state register of domestic violence cases, introduces rehabilitation programs for victims.

Ukraine had taken an important step towards gender equality in December by abolishing the ban for women to be employed in 458 professions which were considered damaging to women’s health. The reforms need to be continued, in order to put a decisive end to gender discrimination in the employment field by revising the Labour Code to remove articles infringing on women’s rights and to facilitate women’s access to the labour market as it had been suggested by many countries during the UPR process.

The problem of professions forbidden for women in Ukraine had been raised by ADC Memorial and the Center for Social and Gender Research in a human rights report submitted to the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (2017).