Iryna Friz: Security. Women. Peace platform condemns sexism in politics, notably in ruling party

“Such statements devalue the professional achievements of women in politics and other spheres of public life, turning women only into objects of beauty (or not beauty), youth or objects of more respectable age, and, as a consequence, impose stereotypes about the inferiority of women and reducing them to an object of sexual desire,” MP Iryna Friz of the European Solidarity faction emphasized.

“Such statements are unacceptable in a civilized society and should receive a harsh public reaction. It is time to bring not only new faces into Ukrainian politics, but also a new political culture that has no place for discrimination on any ground, including gender or age, says Iryna Friz.

“Ritual” statements about respect for equal rights and opportunities for women and men are shattered by the realities of Ukrainian politics, where dense sexism and the imposition of a inferior role on women flourish. Offensive remarks degrade not only those women to whom they were addressed, but all Ukrainian women, because, unfortunately, they are part of everyday socio-political life, an illustration of the true attitude towards women in society. And it is not a civilized language of party communication in democratic parties,” said the representative of European Solidarity.

“Women politicians need to have a lot of strength to fight sexism. We have been struggling with gender stereotypes all these years and today we will not allow the so-called “new face” to destroy what has been achieved, to cross out the sprouts of mutual respect and equality in Ukrainian politics. Women who become targets of sexism often lose opportunities to develop their careers and receive serious psychological trauma,” Friz said.

She quoted studies by various organizations on violence against women in the political sphere showing that about 60% of women politicians face sexism, physical and psychological violence on- and offline. These barriers to achieving equal participation in the political life of women and men have still not been overcome in Ukraine. This definitely distances us from the civilized world, Friz is convinced.

“We urge all participants to follow the rules of current legislation on combating discrimination on the grounds of sex. We demand from the participants of the sexist scandal real apologies to Ukrainian women, whom they humiliated with their statements. We expect that colleagues from the Equal Opportunities IFI show a tough reaction regardless of party affiliation,” Friz said in conclusion.