Representations of Women and Gender Equality in the Nonprofit Sector in Ukraine
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The problem of gender stereotypes and lack of gender sensitivity has been a persistent problem in Ukraine. Educating the population and raising awareness about gender equality has been an important focus of many women’s and feminist organizations in Ukraine. The thesis uses interviews, content analysis and existing literature to analyze how these organizations represent women and gender equality in Ukraine, if and to what degree foreign donors influence these representations, as well as how Ukrainian feminism can be defined. Using the lens of postcolonial feminism and representations, the research found that the organizations in their communication mostly represent young middle-class women and discuss strategic gender needs. Achieving gender equality is presented as a part of an effort toward European integration. However, in most other instances, gender equality is seen as a goal in itself rather than a step to achieve a certain goal. Organizations’ communication and other work is characterized by a high degree of local ownership and understanding between them and foreign donors. This is explained by increased knowledge of the region among foreign donors, but also by the fact that the organizations adopted many ideas from Western feminism and can be characterized as (neo)liberal feminist organizations.