The All-Ukrainian concluding conference on the results of the three-year project on implementation of Family friendly university gender initiative took place in Kyiv, on November 27, 2015. During the conference the representatives of more than 20 partner universities from different regions of Ukraine shared their experience. Despite the completion of the project, the Ukrainian universities keep on developing the gender-sensitive initiative.

According to the project manager and the Head of the Coordination Center for Humanitarian Policy of SSU Nina Svitaylo, the aim of this project consisted in approbating, improving and expanding the range of services that would allow young mothers to combine the university education with family. That’s exactly what makes the basis for a balanced implementation of gender-sensitive policy, social protection and the support of vulnerable group, i.e. mothers-students with young children. The obtained results allow regarding these steps as an important direction of gender policy implementation in universities.

According to the coordinator of the health care and social protection sector of the Delegation of European Union to Ukraine Serhii Poliuk, the equality between men and women belongs to the fundamental values established in the legal and political bases of the European Union. That’s why the EU supported SSU in the implementation of ‘Family friendly university’ initiative.

The deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Iryna Lutsenko also joined the conference. In her opinion, the important component of the project is to spread positive experience of initiative implementation among other Ukrainian universities, which expands the changes at national level.

The gender expert, associate professor of SSU Andriana Kostenko stresses that the model of family friendliness at the university level developed by SSU is one of the project results. Today SSU presents an example of a room for parents with children in the Family Support Center ‘Student Stork’ and the best practices of gender equality implementation in the university environment. The gradual change of society's attitude towards women who combine motherhood with university education can be called an important achievement.

The official partners of the project ‘Equal opportunities in getting profession for young mother-students in higher educational establishments’ implemented by Sumy State University are the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine and more than 40 leading universities of Ukraine. The project was funded by the European Union.

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