The Conference “Government and Business: Are There Prospects for Introducing Non-Discriminatory Norms in the Labor Market?” Took Place

On November the 3rd in Kyiv, the conference “Government and Business: Are There Prospects for Introducing Non-Discriminatory Norms in the Labor Market?” took place. During the conference, the participants assessed the prospects for the implementation in Ukraine of six non-discriminatory Directives of the Council of the European Union concerning the gender equality of Ukrainian citizens in access to work and services. These directives envisage compliance with the principle of non-discrimination. For your attention – the Program of the Conference; also, the Resolution was adopted.

Today, more and more is spoken in Ukraine about diversity, and more and more employers tend to create teams of people of diverse backgrounds, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and other manifestations of diversity; but are they included in the workflow as a cohesive whole? This question deals with inclusiveness – creating conditions under which different people are included in the decision-making process and are responsible on an equal basis.

To what extent are the capabilities for such inclusiveness provided by Ukrainian labor legislation and corresponding plans for the development of state policy, as well as find application in corporate business practices? Namely these issues became the subject of the conference. The event was attended by the heads of departments and specialists responsible for European integration of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, the State Employment Service of Ukraine (Central Office), the State Service of Ukraine for Labor, scientists of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine from the Research Institute of Labor and Employment, Center for Problems of Implementation of European Social Law, experts from the Coalition Against Discrimination in Ukraine, Council of Europe, representatives of trade unions and business, international experts, in particular, from the Eastern Partnership countries (Moldova, Georgia, Armenia).


The spirit and letter of these directives provide for adherence to the principle of non-discrimination as a guiding principle for many documents of the Council of the European Union. The provisions on the prohibition of gender-based discrimination were introduced yet before the first edition of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community of 1957. This was supposed to provide uniform rules of the game between Member States, and – to prevent the gaining of competitive advantages that Member States could obtain by setting lower wages or less favorable working conditions for women. Therefore, the issue of non-discrimination and the full implementation of these Directives is not a kind of make-weight to the agreement, but it is a full-scale requirement having equally high economic and social rationale.

Not less are the consequences of gender discrimination within the country. “How many new enterprises, businesses were not open, how many apartments were not bought, how many children were not born only because women earn 26% less than men”, – told the expert of the Coalition, head of the Center for Solidarity in Ukraine (Ukraine Solidarity Campaign) Tristán Masat, – “There is a crisis in Ukraine, and it faces many challenges; meanwhile, the half of the able-bodied population – women – do not have equal opportunities and cannot actively participate in economic life.”

Our European choice requires to adhere to these rules of the game, and to establish an equal approach, equal treatment, equal conditions and equal pay for equal work for women and men. Gender equality and non-discrimination should become the basis of actions carried out within the framework of the policy of the Eastern Partnership of the European Union, in order to ensure full public support of EU partners, said Rostislav Dzundza, organizer of the conference.

In addition to discussing these issues, the conference presented international projects and best practices for implementation of non-discrimination in the labor market in Ukrainian business sector; participants of the conference were acquainted with the best practices of implementation of the non-discriminatory EU Directives and the above-mentioned conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in the format EU+3 (Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova); the possibility of their implementation in Ukraine was also discussed.  The International “Renaissance” Foundation, together with its partners, has long been working to create a society and an environment free of discrimination in Ukraine. And a meeting at the conference of government officials, business and civil society representatives, on non-discriminatory rules in the labor market, is another step in this direction.

The conference was organized by NGO "Bureau for Social and Political Developments", the Coalition "For Equality in Labor" and the Corporate Equality Index, with the support of the European Union and the International “Renaissance” Foundation, within the framework of the project “Practices of the Ministry of Social Policy in ensuring equality between women and men in the labor market, in context of implementation of EU directives” under the auspices of the Ukrainian National Platform of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership and the Ukrainian side of the Platform of Civil Society of Ukraine-EU. The corresponding project is implemented within the framework of the grant component of the project "Public Synergy", funded by the European Union and the International “Renaissance” Foundation and implemented by the European Program Initiative of the International “Renaissance” Foundation.

Науково-достідний інститут Unicef Європейський союз Civil Society Forum Карітас України international renaissance foundation Європейська соціальна мережа