On March 8, the women’s solidarity march under the slogan “Freedom, Equality, Sisterhood” took place in Kharkiv for the fifth time. This year, the event brought together a record number of participants. According to the Kharkiv National Police, about 500 people took part in the event.
The action participants marched along Sumska Street from Maidan Svobody (Ukrainian: Freedom Square) to Maidan Konstytutsii (Ukrainian: Constitution Square).
Women and men chanted slogans “Women’s rights are human rights,” “Free woman is a free country,” “My body is my business,” “Woman is always on time” and others.
Many women who joined the event had a poster or were dressed in a thematic fashion. The bright performance was arranged by four girls, each holding a poster with the inscriptions “I’m not a chick, a kitty-cat or a princess,” and they were dressed exactly in the costumes mentioned in the poster. One of the activists, who was in the cat’s dress, noted that she does not allow herself to call men affectionate phrases in working relationships. And she doesn’t want to be called this way. On some posters, women and men demanded ratification of the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe on the prevention of violence against women.
“We are going to remind the city, people and authorities, that it’s always relevant to discuss and find solutions to the problems of gender inequality and women’s oppression which are shown in domestic and gender-based violence, unequal working conditions, abusive jokes, sexist advertising, etc.,” the event organizers, Sphere and Women Association, consider.
Representatives of the Traditions and Order right-wing organization protested against the march for women’s rights. About two dozen young men accompanied the column during the movement and chanted the slogan “Family. Traditions. Order.”
On Maidan Konstytutsii radicals installed the table with tulips, a loaf of bread and other attributes and tried to woo the march participants or to give them flowers. One of the march participants gave a pumpkin to the young protester. According to the old Ukrainian tradition, a girl would bring a pumpkin to her yard as a sign that she won’t marry this man. The young man tried to return the gift, but the girl was persistent.
Anyway, the action was held without significant violations of public order. Community policing was carried out by 500 police officers.
Text: Natalia Ivanova
Photo: Julia Razmetaeva, objectiv.tv