On February 13, 2020, the USAID New Justice Program grantee, Ukrainian Women Lawyers Association “JurFem”, presented a training course on gender equality and women’s rights which was developed for law school students. The event was held with support from the Ukrainian National Bar Association (UNBA).
Representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, academics, law schools professors from various regions of Ukraine, attorneys, representatives from non-government and international organizations took part in the event.
David M. Vaughn, the USAID New Justice Program Chief of Party, stressed that the Program had been supporting initiatives for advocating gender equality in the judiciary and the bar for a long time. He expressed a hope that the idea of implementing such course would be supported by universities and the course would be included in law schools’ curriculum as an optional subject, thus, raising young legal professionals’ awareness and helping them to effectively protect their clients’ rights in gender discrimination-related cases. Besides, it would facilitate our compatriots to develop a proper legal culture so that they could overcome gender stereotypes and counteract gender-based violence.
UNBA Deputy Chairman Valentyn Gvozdiy pointed out that UNBA is interested in developing a concise training program on gender equality and women’s rights based on this course for attorneys.
Roksolana Shvydchak, an Advisor to the Minister of Education and Science, emphasized the importance of this course in view of a number of Ukraine’s international commitments, inter alia, those under Begin Declaration and UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security envisaging that training programs on gender equality issues be implemented in educational institutions. Ms. Shvydchak promised that the Ministry of Education and Science would support this process.
In addition, the event participants discussed the value of the course which offers a comprehensive approach to covering gender equality and women’s rights in both Ukrainian and international context as well as its flexible structure which makes it possible to teach it as a standalone subject or to incorporate its individual sections in other legal subjects.
Teachers from partner universities shared their experience of piloting this course and acknowledged students’ interest in learning the subject.
The course will be available for downloading soon.