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Men leaders unite against violence in Ukraine

Famous Ukrainians to lead Network against Violence (from left to right): swimmer Oleg Lysogor, actor Ostap Stupka, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Mykola Tomenko
KYIV, 4 March 2009 - Today the Network of Men Leaders against Violence is launched in Ukraine on the eve of the International Women’s Day observance. This Network is founded in the framework of the national campaign “Stop Violence!”

Opening the event, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine Jeremy Hartley said «In 2009 International Women's Day is celebrated by the United Nations under the theme, "Women and Men: United to End Violence against Women". Violence against women is an issue that cannot wait. A brief look at the statistics makes it clear. At least one out of every three women is likely to be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime.” “That is why UN Secretary General has launched his multiyear campaign “Unite to End Violence against Women” – he added.

Deputy Minister for Family, Youth and Sport of Ukraine Rostyslav Karandeev stated that in line with the UN Secretary General statement, several public and international organizations requested to conduct a national campaign “Stop Violence!” focused on fighting domestic and family violence. He continued that the “Stop Violence!” Organizational Committee called on Ukrainian men leaders to unite in a national network to fight violence against women. 
First men who became members of the Network in Ukraine are: Parliament Deputy Speaker Mykola Tomenko, President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, Olympic Champion Sergiy Bubka, famous Ukrainian swimmers Oleg Lisogor and Denys Sylantiev, journalist Danylo Yanevsky, President of the International Fatherhood Centre Olexander Marchenko, prominent football player Andriy Gusin, national artists of Ukraine Ostap Stupka and Bogdan Benyuk, founder of the publishing house “A-ba-ba-ha-la-ma-ha” Ivan Malkovych and others.

Addressing the participants, Mykola Tomenko emphasized that Ukrainian men have to take acts to overcome this flow of violence in families and against women. “We, Ukrainian men leaders, can make a difference in our society and have to unite our efforts to address this dire phenomenon. We have to take responsibility for women, children and our families. Violence against women and children is a challenge for the whole society. Society should stop ignoring and concealing this problem. We are able to countervail it», - he said.

The members of the Network plan to involve to the campaign as many activists as possible to prevent and stop domestic violence. In the framework of the campaign, a series of outreach events will be conducted to raise awareness on what people can do to prevent and address domestic violence, and to explain how women and children can be protected. The event was initiated by the Equal Opportunities and Women's Rights Programme in Ukraine.



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