Kyiv Institute of Gender Studies (KIGS) is a non-governmental expert and monitoring organization that has been studying and implementing gender-non-discriminatory practices in Ukraine since 1999.
What is KIGS doing to reduce the gender pay gap?
“Equal pay for work of equal value” has become a top issue advocated by KIGS since 2016. During that time, the Institute coordinated the preparation of the national the alternative CEDAW Report. This document statistically showed a decrease in women’s labor rights since 2010. The GGGR-2015 ratio showed that on average a woman in Ukraine received 0.66% of a man’s salary. The report identified a lack of effective government action to reduce this gap and a lack of sound national gender expertise in equal pay for equal work.
That is why in 2017 we created a coalition “For Equality and Non-Discrimination at Work” comprising non-governmental, trade union and pro-government organizations. Together we assessed the implementation of the “equality directives” in Ukraine. We selectively examined the national labor legislation to find the roots of unequal pay for work of equal value. From May 2017 to May 2019 (while the Coalition was in force) we organized and held a number of bright and motivating events, press briefings and speeches in the media. Together we brought the issue of women’s labor rights from the margins to the top of the state’s gender policy. Unprecedentedly, two key government documents, prepared with the participation of KIGS consultants during 2018, included a number of labor equality measures for women and men. This the State Program for Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men until 2021, and the National Action Plan to implement the final comments of the CEDAW Committee until 2021. Currently, with other women’s and feminist organizations, KIGS has initiated the preparation of the next Alternative CEDAW report, where the issue of equal pay for work of equal value will be key.
Today we are closely cooperating with all national gender equality bodies. KIGS representatives are members of key national gender equality advisory bodies in the Ukrainian Government and Parliament. Since March 2020, the Institute signed a four-year Memorandum of Cooperation with the National Human Rights Institution, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) Office
In what way can EPIC be relevant to KIGS?
We are happy to join this much-needed and timely unification initiative. We found that the problem of equal pay for equal work in the Ukrainian context is extremely difficult to solve on our own. This clearly requires the combined efforts of many stakeholders.
We would expect the exchange of good practices, as well as the expertise, which we do not have in Ukraine. We also think that building local cooperation, networking, etc. through EPIC can be a useful tool for us. We also would expect that our experience could be useful for our neighbour-countries, in particular.