UNICEF together with First Lady Olena Zelenska and partners jointly awarded the winners of the all-Ukrainian essay contest "SCIENCE is SHE"

10 June 2021

On the 10th of June, the final award ceremony of 12 winners of the all-Ukrainian essay contest " SCIENCE is SHE" took place in Kyiv, uniting multiple partners and stakeholders of the initiative. The competition was held with a purpose of highlighting the contribution of 12 outstanding Ukrainian female scientists and promoting the role of women and young females in Ukrainian science. In the result of the essay contest, almost half a thousand of girls from 14 to 21 years old from different corners of Ukraine enhanced their understanding about Ukrainian scientists and took part in the competition. 

The finalists received various prizes from the project partners, including representatives of the business environment, Ukrainian universities, the office of the First Lady and international organizations. In addition, one Grand-Prix award was announced during the award ceremony. The top prize was given to Anastasia Suvorova from Kyiv, the author of an essay on Ukrainian ornithologist Natalia Atamas. As a winner of the Grand Prix, the girl received a study grant of $ 4,000 provided by the STEM is FEM project, as well as $ 31,900 raised during the charity auction.  

“COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us once again how dangerous inequality is for our lives. Apart from the health risks, the pandemic has also highlighted how much our future depend on younger generation with equitable access to knowledge and education. Today young female leaders is the new generation of changemakers, who are reimagining the world shaped by their vision and solutions to live free from gender-based violence, discrimination and stereotypes. Let’s seize the opportunity to reimagine a better world inspired by adolescent girls – energized and recognized, counted, and invested in”, said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine during the award ceremony. 

The winner of the Grand Prix admitted that the victory came as a surprise to her. First place she considered participation in the competition as a challenge of her own capacities and talent. 

"At that time in my life, I felt total despair in my abilities. It seemed as if everything I was doing was not leading to any significant results. The selection of my essay coincided exactly with this challenging period in my life and inspired me more than I could have ever believed. It was the result of work I could instantly see. It gave me back hope and faith in my strength," the winner shared. 

Anastasia has shared her plans about how to spend the received study grant, which will be allocated on obtaining a Master degree in one of the European countries. 


The First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska has also attended the event and held a public discussion with the young female activists on the future role of of youth and women in decision-making in modern Ukraine.  "I want Ukrainian society to refer to the scientists as 'stars' and appreciate the contribution of men and women to the development of Ukrainian society equally”, Olena Zelenska emphasized. 

The art project "SCIENCE is SHE", as well as the essay competition within the project, was organized by the educational project STEM is FEM, that promote the role of young females in STEM specialties, with the support of the UN Women in Ukraine and the UN Children's Fund in Ukraine (UNICEF). "SCIENCE is SHE" project from was implemented as part of the UN Women’s Global Generation of Equality campaign, which calls for change to achieve equality. 

Portraits of scientists, together with 12 winning works of the essay competition, will become a traveling exhibition to Ukrainian cities and towns, where any educational institution of Ukraine - school, university, library, etc. - can order and install the exposition for free.  


Media contacts

Nina Sorokopud
Chief of Communication
UNICEF in Ukraine


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

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