Women’s leadership in public service during the war

25.10 2023

Yuliia Lykhach, Director of the High School of Public Governance, spoke about how the School produces women’s leadership, what events are held and what programmes are implemented during the thematic panel “Women’s Leadership in Public Service during the War” as part of the media marathon “Equality in Politics and Inclusive Recovery”.

The event, which took place on 24-25 October at the initiative of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), brought together more than 100 participants – political leaders, public servants, gender equality experts, representatives of international organisations, opinion leaders, etc.
“The issue of gender equality in the public service is not new to me, as I have been studying and developing it for ten years together with my colleagues,” said Yuliia Lykhach in her speech. “A year ago, I became the head of the High School of Public Governance. And we founded the Centre for the Professional Development of Competencies in Human Rights, Non-Discrimination and Gender Equality, which aims at developing the professional competencies of public servants in shaping a culture of respect for the rights and freedoms of citizens, non-discrimination, observance of the principles of barrier-free and inclusive education, and ensuring gender equality. Together with the National Agency of Ukraine on Civil Service, we are implementing a number of new programmes related to gender-sensitive governance and humanitarian crisis response, studying the needs of different groups of women and men and establishing communication, responding to conflict-related sexual violence and providing assistance to victims.”

It should be noted that the first model programme developed by the High School in cooperation with international experts was the CRSV programme. In 2023, another model programme was developed to address cases of gender-based domestic violence.
The Graduate School has also developed three training programmes for trainers on domestic violence, gender-based violence and war-related sexual violence. To date, more than 50 civil servants from various government agencies have been trained in these areas.

Yuliia Lykhach also stressed that this year, together with the Research Institute, the High School implemented the educational project “School of Gender Mainstreaming”. “There are two programmes we have approved – for public servants of category A and public servants of categories B and C,” the director of the High School noted. “The idea was to train the professional community of authorised persons, senior management, and heads of structural units dealing with this issue, taking into account their powers. So far, 15 public servants of category A and 86 of categories B and C have completed the training. And last week, 61 people – heads of gender policy departments at the Kyiv City Council – completed the training.”

We would like to add that the High School of Public Governance has completed the preparation of an online course on the standard programme on gender equality and has conducted a market study and the needs of educational stakeholders to provide training on gender equality. During the two-day Marathon, participants also discussed key tools and obstacles to implementing gender equality and inclusive recovery, the benefits of gender-responsive governance, and new challenges at the local and national levels due to Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine.

There was also a screening of the films “Tak, I am a Woman” and “Visible” followed by a discussion with the protagonists of these films and a presentation of the book “She is the One Who is Fighting” with the authors.