February 26, 2019 by Agnieszka Fal-Dutra Santos
Sharing the border with Crimea, as well as with Zaporizhia – one of the oblasts affected by the violence in Eastern Ukraine – Kherson, an oblast in southern Ukraine has faced multiple security challenges. These include high numbers of internally displaced persons, and the need to provide adequate services for veterans returning from the frontline, and their families. Women have been disproportionately affected by the impacts of conflict in Kherson. On February 14-15, 2019, the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) together with its local partner, Democracy Development Center, held a writing workshop (“writeshop”) on the implementation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSCR) 1325 and Ukraine’s National Action Plan (NAP) in Kherson.
The workshop gathered over 30 participants from different rayons and cities in the Kherson oblast. Participants included representatives of the Oblast State Administration, local (rayon) administrations and councils, city councils and the civil society. The “writeshop” built on the outcomes of GNWP’s Localization workshop in Kherson, held in June 2018.
An Oblast Action Plan was adopted in Kherson in January 2019, shortly before the “writeshop” was held. Therefore, building on the outcomes of the 2018 activities, during which key priorities for WPS implementation in the oblast were identified, the “writeshop” focused on reviewing the Oblast Action Plan to ensure that it is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART). The participants, with support from GNWP and DDC experts, worked to revise objectives of the plan, making them more “SMART”, and to define concrete indicators. Three objectives were strengthened in this way during the “writeshop”. The State Oblast Administration committed to integrating the changes into the Oblast Action Plan, as well as reviewing the other objectives in a similar manner.
In a short interview, Mr. Ihor Pohorily, Head of Family, Gender and Children Rehabilitation section at the Department of Social Protection in the Kherson Oblast Administration, talks about why UNSCR 1325 is important to Kherson, and how the Oblast Administration plans to ensure its effective implementation.
Q: Why is United Nations Resolution 1325 relevant to your oblast?
A: UNSCR 1325 is very important for Kherson because women’s issues are important to the oblast. The objective of this plan is to increase the participation of women at all levels of decision-making so that the women are well represented in all spheres of governance in Kherson.
Q: Can you tell us about the Kherson Oblast Action Plan and how you adopted it?
The Oblast Action Plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 was developed following a directive from Ukraine’s Prime Minister. It was developed by the local authorities, whose duty it is to implement national laws in the oblast, and to adapt them to the local reality in Kherson.
The plan also provides orientation for local authorities, including the authorities in the rayons and cities, to develop Local Action Plans.
The Local Action Plans should respond to the concrete issues and the needs of the local populations.
Q: What are the next steps for implementing UNSCR 1325 in Kherson following the workshop conducted by GNWP and Democracy Development Center on 14-15 February 2019?
Following the workshop, today and yesterday, conducted with the support of our international partners, we committed to revising the Oblast Action Plan, using the “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-bound) methodology. This will be the first step towards updating and strengthening the plan. We will also collect feedback from the implementers at the local level, in order to identify the gaps in the plan and make necessary changes to ensure effective implementation of the Oblast Action Plan.
Q: How do you see your role in promoting women’s meaningful participation at all levels?
My role as a representative of the Oblast State Administration is to coordinate the actions by other key stakeholders, build the capacity of specialists who can support decision-makers at the local level to effectively implement their Local Action Plans, strengthen and monitor the activities and implementation at the local level.
Women are our everything. As a man, I strive to support them and help to make their life better every day.