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NGO “INSTITUTE OF GENDER PROGRAMS”


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NGO “INSTITUTE OF GENDER PROGRAMS”

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Our dream is a strong, professional and openminded youth who could serve in the sector of security and defence and successfully reintegrate themselves into society after the service period, which will base on respecting human rights, internal fair selection, excluding gender, sexual, religion prejudices. As it says the army is a representative of society, so we also expect that changes in the army that we are working on and values we are sharing, will spread among all society.

The problem we are trying to solve:

The Armed Forces of Ukraine ensure safety for every Ukrainian citizen. We understand how important it is to have a strong army, especially during a war. Many of our brothers and sisters joined the army as volunteers to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty. We can’t have them fight on two fronts — against the aggressor on the outside and against violence on the inside. Our efforts are aimed at strengthening the human rights protection system in the military and promoting gender equality. Above all, we seek to convey and instil in society the idea that a strong and professional army exists only if personal boundaries and human dignity are respected.

From August 2020, Institute of gender programs team was working on the research «Invisible Battalion 3.0: Sexual Harassment In The Military Sphere In Ukraine». The results confirmed that there are still no effective mechanism of filing complaints and dealing with these cases. Sexual abuse not only causes personal problems to victims, but also influences to the whole defence sector, since victims resign the service, have lack of motivation, distract from their duties trying to protect themselves. Hot lines of Ministry of Defence and General Staff are completely ineffective, because they are not anonymous. Information reaches units, so militaries avoid using them. Victims get no support and help and usually stay alone with the problem.

The problem of sexual harassment exists not only in Armed Forces. We want to implement our archival and experience to the whole community. First of all is creating an informational background for free discussions about this problem on different levels of society. Second is the development of professional relationships culture, a safe workspace for each citizen, based on respect.

The solution we are proposing:

Considering research of the third stage Invisible Battalion campaign, we are sure that educational and informational parts of this problem are highly important. There is still no complete understanding of where the line goes on. Informational campaign will help to attract attention and give basic understanding of the issue. Also our chatbot provides psychological and legal support.

In general, we expect to spread information widely among society, what will encourage people protect themselves from abuse and don't afraid to talk about this problem, encourage them to share their experience, and create safe working space.

We already did:

  1. Online course "Gender equality and combating sexual harassment in the military" which already include in recommandations for militaries from General Staff.
  2. ChatBot.
  3. Informational campaign in media

Intends:

  1. Enlargement of the informational and education campaign.
  2. Functional improvement of chatbot.
  3. Advocacy campaign to improve legislation

What success looks like for us:

Open discussion in the society, finding effective solutions to solve this problem. The hardest is to break the circle of silence. We want to create support systems and instruments, which will be really effective. Spreading information and education programs which will help to prevent and find the way out from abuse situations.

Media and webs monitoring, polling militaries, veterans, civilians.

Where we are are based:

Kyiv, Ukraine

Funding we are applying for:

$12,000 - $14,000 per year

How this funding will help us achieve our goals:

It will allow us to enlargement of the information and education campaign and create a row of new opportunities to make the problem visible through voices of the young generation of women.

How this funding will strengthen our group:

Most of our work is based on volunteering. Despite that, the issue is very sensitive and emotionally exhausting. It causes burnout of the team, so our team needs psychological support regularly. Moreover, the issue concerns every member of a team, since some of them (veterans) faced this during their military service. And some of the members are young females who want to reduce the amount of this issue for the future generation.

How we gain by being a Spark Fund partner:

As we know from the official source Spark Fund grants will last for two years and Global Fund for Children will work with partners to support network building, capacity development and learning both regionally and globally. First of all is institutional support for our grass root team. Second is a possibility to expand the range of partners. And of course expand our possibilities in spreading the values.

How we would like to spend a grant through the Spark Fund:

If we receive a grant, we plan to use it for an information campaign (salary for PR and SMM managers, targeting), development of information materials (design, printing, distribution), support and training of the team and volunteers.

Our Annual Income:

15,461 EUR

Our Organization Structure:

Our organization has a horizontal ('flat') structure. Due to that, we make decisions together in the democratic process of permanent communication. All our members are women (including women volunteers and veterans)

Our team consists of micro teams: organizing, communicating and researching. Each micro team acts within its competence after consultation with experts and stakeholders who may be concerned in the issue and may be influenced by the results. Official communication with external partners and structures, internal facilitating process carried out by executive director.

Most of our team are young women under 30. For us is an opportunity to be part of irreversible changes and actually make these changes due to build strong human society including the needs of badly represented groups such as women and LGBT in force structures.

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