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They are only waiting for us

This August I attended a Media Workshop in Berlin, where 23 journalists from 16 countries gathered to discuss some political issues. «Ukraina? What’s the name for the country – the land, where everyone cries?» - my friend from Romania was quite ironic.

And, actually, even closer to reality, than he supposed.

As I wrote before, victimization is a huge problem not only for women, but for our culture and literature as well. Each year pupils discover lots of tragic details about Ukrainian history from their school teachers. Kidnaps, invasions, bondhold or at least unrequited love – traditional Ukrainian literature makes you cry and understand how cruel the world is. Great amounts of money are spent for exhibitions and monuments, devoted to the most dramatic pages of our history – Holodomor (famine) and the Holocaust after World War II. And some of Ukrainian folk songs seem to be created for singing and mourning for global injustice.

So is you ask about the main challenges which prevent changes, I will be critical and straightforward in my response – we ourselves are the most forceful barrier.

I’m convinced that another challenge for Ukrainian women is lack of a true leader in female society, who would give a positive example of fighting for her rights. As far as I’m concerned, leader of political opposition in Ukraine Julia Tymoshenko behaves rather like a politician than like a woman. She doesn’t stand for the interests of women but fights for her own governmental benefits.

Of course it’s impossible to be gentle for the woman politician – as soon as you show your weakness you’ll be suggested to continue your political career at the kitchen. But the challenge is clear – unless we have a charismatic leader, our society will be too lethargic for changes.

PulseWire consists of hundreds and thousands absorbing and sincere stories, which are worth to be translated into different languages and published in newspapers, discussed on live TV shows, posted to local blog communities all over the world. Ukrainian women are passive but passionate – they only need a strong impulse which will show them the right direction.

It’s due to us to attract attention of authorities to the issues discussed here. Asking questions at the press-conferences, making republishes, cooperation with journalists for promoting the brightest stories. Of course, in small villages the internet is not that powerful yet – then it will be more efficient to place a tribune in the centre of the city and just speak. In our situation publicity is our best friend.

During the last few years in Ukraine there was a fresh social initiative: those, who are against the violence put on their hands small pink bracelets. «I’m sure that a person, who wears such a stuff will never injure a woman», - explained my friend while putting a bracelet on his hand. The new generation of men is ready for changes!

They are only waiting for us.

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Comments

Emily Garcia's picture

Hello!

Hi Valerie,

Thank you for your post! Your diagnosis of a culture of 'victimization' is a very interesting one to think about... 'Victims', as opposed to 'survivors', are considered powerless and unable to alter their situation. But I think forums such as PulseWire encourage women to think of themselves as empowered even in spite of hardships. The sharing of hardships can also be a way to move past them. By having someone hear one's story and empathize, one is then able to move on, feeling lighter, more capable to deal with what comes... But of course things don't work the same everywhere. Contexts are different and people may view things differently...

I'm anxious to read more about and from Ukrainian women. Translating and sharing stories from PulseWire could be a great way to encourage women in your community to share their own stories, online or in the setting that works best.

Thanks again for writing and best wishes!

Emily

Emily Garcia
World Pulse Online Community Lead

Zane Abweh's picture

I really enjoyed reading

I really enjoyed reading that. It opened my eyes to things beyond my immediate circle of news. I liked the contrast between the first paragraphs and the last one. You painted a very nice picture, i wish you best of luck in achieving it.

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