In September, the Human Rights Centre launched its second development cooperation project. Six years ago we shared knowledge in Tajikistan, this time we will start cooperating with Ukraine.
Our partner is the NGO Equal Opportunities Platform, whose main goal is to empower women and internally displaced people. They operate in eastern Ukraine in the city of Dnipro, which is one of the most popular in the business community and the fourth largest city in the country.
“The major business sectors in the Dnipro region are lagging behind in terms of diversity management, empowerment of women and other vulnerable groups, and an inclusive work environment. Although an increasing number of educated and highly qualified women join organisations, leading sectors such as IT and industry remain highly sexist and male-dominated. More initiatives, campaigns and training are needed to raise management awareness in this area and to talk about diversity and inclusion. Cooperation with the Estonian Human Rights Centre helps us to do this,” explained Maryna Shevtsova, the head of the partner organisation.
Through the activities of the project, we develop cooperation between companies, the non-governmental sector and the public sector, with the aim of creating more equal opportunities for women and internally displaced people in the region. The Ukrainian partner will build a network of organisations that value diversity, equal treatment and the rule of law. The experts of the Human Rights Centre share their experiences of creating and maintaining the Diversity Charter network in Estonia.
“Starting a development cooperation project with a new partner during the COVID-19 pandemic is risky, but we know that vulnerable groups in developing countries need the most support during crises. After seven years of war conflict, internally displaced people are one of the most vulnerable groups in Ukraine, and in the context of a pandemic, women among them are in particularly difficult circumstances. The experience of the Centre shows that the visible support of private companies helps to create change in society faster, and this is what we want to achieve in cooperation with our project partner,” said Egert Rünne, the executive director of the Center.
The project will last two years and is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Estonian development and humanitarian aid funds.
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