THE CURRENT SITUATION IN UKRAINE
Thank you for your continued support and participation in numerous initiatives relative to the situation in Ukraine. Among them – organizing rallies and protests, preparing baskets of needed supplies, donations towards humanitarian aid, assisting victims in your countries, and not the least, facilitating the dissemination of truthful information about events in Ukraine. We encourage you to continue participating in these initiatives. Despite the truce, Ukraine needs our constant and steady moral and financial support.
As you know the election of deputies to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine will be taking place on October 26, 2014. We encourage you to help by joining the ranks of the election observers.
The WFUWO has sent a letter to the President of Ukraine supporting the ratification of the agreement between Ukraine and the EU, and emphasizing the importance of this step towards full accession to the European Union.
ORYSIA SUSHKO JOINS THE RANKS OF CANADA’S 25 MOST INFLUENTIAL FEMALE EXECUTIVES
The World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations (WFUWO) is proud to announce that its President, Irene Orysia Sushko, C.M. has been named as one of this year’s Top 25 Women of Influence™ by Women of Influence, Inc., North America’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement of women. This prestigious ranking celebrates and showcases the accomplishments of Canadian senior executives who have achieved the highest levels of professional success and have made a significant difference in their field. Orysia was one of only five women applauded for their contribution and influence in the NGO category.
“The level of influence, stature and accomplishments of this year’s Top 25 Women of Influence is without question, outstanding and unparalleled,” said Carolyn Lawrence, President and CEO of Women of Influence. “Although this year’s women have varied backgrounds, professions, personalities and skills, they all share the same passion, ambition and drive to make meaningful and transformational contributions to the Canadian economy, their communities, their workplaces, and to the next generation. They are women of influence in every sense of the word.”
“Thank you for this profound honour”, beamed Irene. “To stand alongside such powerhouse women as one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence for 2014, is a truly humbling privilege. May Canadian women continue to blaze trails in every field of business, government and community, in this nation and across the globe, and may we continue to celebrate these achievements with recognitions such as the Top 25 Women of Influence. Celebrating, supporting and encouraging one another in our varied endeavours is critical to broadening the scope of opportunities available to all Canadian women.”
THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST UKRAINIAN WOMEN’S CONGRESS
On September 6-7, 2014, representatives of Ukrainian and diasporan Ukrainian women’s organizations met in Ivano-Frankivsk to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the first Ukrainian Women’s Congress, which took place in Stanyslaviv (modern day Ivano-Frankivsk) in 1934. In July 1994, Ivano-Frankivsk was chosen for the Second Congress of Soiuz Ukrainok, and now, in 2014, Ivano-Frankivsk was honored again to host the third such World Congress. Among those attending the conference were representatives of the Ukrainian government, many guests and members of the Soiuz Ukrainok from various oblasts of Ukraine.
The President of the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations, Orysia Sushko delivered an official greeting to those gathered, and spoke about the Ukrainian women’s movement as a component of gender equality, and the role of women in the world and in Ukraine, in particular. She emphasized, that we have a special duty to remember those women who sacrificed their lives for Ukraine, because women are Ukraine’s strength as the main guardians of children, families, and the national community.
On this occasion, Orysia Sushko presented Dr. Oreslava Khomyk the President of the Soiuz Ukrainok of Ukraine a gift of the image of Princess St Olha in recognition of her leadership in preparing this congress which carries such historic significance.
At the same time, our WFUWO President wished them success in re-establishing regular publication of the Soiuz Ukrainok magazine-journal Ukrainka. The first issue of the renewed publication includes an address from the President of WFUWO.
UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The Annual Meeting of the Ukrainian World Congress took place in Kyiv September 29-31, 2014. Orysia Sushko, WFUWO President, delivered words of welcome during the opening ceremonies, and participated in a series of official meetings with members of Ukraine’s government: the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defense, the mayor of Kyiv, and the Rector of the Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv.
During their stay in Kyiv, WFUWO’s President and other delegates visited the military hospital in Kyiv where soldiers wounded and maimed in the war on Ukraine’s eastern front are being treated.
The annual report of our Federation for the period of August 2013 to September 2014, as well as President Sushko’s report of her activities as Second Vice- President of the Ukrainian World Congress, were both included in the published proceedings of the annual meeting.
Participating in the congress meetings was Dr. Iryna Klyuchkovska, Director of the International
Institute of education, culture and relations with the diaspora (MÌOK at the Lviv Polytechnic). Our WFUWO President took advantage of this opportunity to present Dr. Klyuchkovska with WFUWO’s special St. Princess Olga award as a symbol of respect and deep appreciation of her longstanding cooperation with WFUWO.
WFUWO’s By-Law Commission has been working this year on the completion of the documentation necessary to update the WFUWO’s By-Laws. The commission has had the advice of a lawyer specializing in this field to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Canadian Government (CRA) since that is where WFUWO is registered. The Federation is required to submit the required documentation by October 17, 2014. All the paperwork was sent to our members who had the opportunity to submit their comments, and to consent to the changes as well as to offer their comments by May 15 of this year. Consent of our members was received. All documentation in relation to these requirements has now been submitted to the Canadian Government.
DR. MARUSIA BEK LITERARY CONTEST
The Dr. Marusia Bek Literary Contest is now closed. We thank the participants for their submitted entries. The winners of the contest will be determined and notified in due course. We are especially thankful to the UNWLA for their generous gift of $ 2,500 US towards the finalists’ awards.
PANEL DISCUSSION/ WFUWO CELEBRATION
We regret that we need to postpone our panel discussion and WFUWO celebration scheduled for October 18th because of the unforeseen timing of Ukraine’s next Parliamentary elections (October 26). We have been informed by our panelists that they will be participating in the Observer Mission in Ukraine, therefore will not be able to appear at the WFUWO event as planned. We will announce the rescheduled date once it has been determined.
200TH ANNIVERSARY OF TARAS SHEVCHENKO
This year the Ukrainian community world-wide celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko. We encourage all our member organizations to mark this anniversary and share the information about their events with us.
WFUWO AT THE UNITED NATIONS
The WFUWO representatives to the United Nations are continuing to participate in UN NGO Committee work, attending major conferences, and following upcoming developments. Dr. Martha Kichorowska Kebalo, our main representative to UN/Economic and Social Council maintains close contact with the WFUWO headquarters and executive, which we greatly appreciate, and cultivates an open communication within the network of New York representatives to UN/ECOSOC and UNDPI, and also with Dr. Oleksandra Kunovska-Mondoux, our main representative in UN/ Geneva. Dr. Kunovska-Mondoux keeps headquarters and UN/New York current on events at UN/Geneva and there is a high degree of cooperation and coordination between the two UN stations.
During the recent 65th Annual United Nations Department of Public Information NGO Conference, which was held at the New York UN headquarters August 27-29 2014, our WFUWO delivered an important workshop entitled “Social Media, Surveillance and Information Wars: Egypt, Tunisia, and Ukraine”. The workshop focused on the use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) in oppositional movements in comparative contexts across societies that have recently experienced popular pro-democratic uprisings. The panel speakers explored the potential positive (effective dissemination of information and movement recruitment) as well as potential negative (official surveillance and harassment of movement participants, invasion of privacy) effects of these new media, as well as the misuse of social media in blatant wars of dis-information.
The invited speakers included Jennifer Preston of the New York Times (reporting on Ukraine,Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey) and Yehia Z. Ghanem (former managing editor of Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper), Victoria Baranetsky, First Amendment Fellow of the New York Times Company, Mariya Soroka, co-founder and community relations/events manager for the new organization Razom. Jeffrey Huffines, Co-Chair of the NGO Conference Organizing Committee, delivered a perspective on social media and popular movements from Northeast Asia. Andrij Dobriansky, WCU Representative to UN/ECOSOC served as the panel’s expert moderator. Co-sponsors of the workshop included the Ukrainian World Congress, the International Council of Women, the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development (NY), and Razom for Ukraine.
Looking ahead to this fall, in November 2014, the UN NGO Committee on the Status of Women in Geneva, of which Dr. Oleksandra Kunovska-Mondoux is a member, is preparing an NGO Forum event to run in the days immediately preceding the Economic Council of Europe conference to review the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action 1995 at its 20 year mark (2015). Ukraine, and also most of the countries of the Ukrainian diaspora (North America, Europe, Eastern Europe and formerly Soviet Asia) are included in the ECE region. The NGO Forum program will focus on the points of the Beijing Platform for women, through 12 thematic Round Tables. Natalia Karbowska of the Ukrainian Women’s Fund in Kyiv has been invited to participate in the round table on Women in
Power and Decision Making. Dr. Olena Hankivsky Professor of Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, BC), a public health specialist and researcher on Ukraine’s health reform, is our WFUWO candidate for the round table discussion of Women and Health.
The NGO Committee on the Status of Women (NY) has been invited to organize a panel on Women and Poverty. We do not yet know who will participate in the ECE Beijing Review conference as official delegates from the government of Ukraine. We will continue to inform you on the developments around these deliberations that are so significant for all women. We are especially concerned to have recognition of the evolving situation of the women of Ukraine, including the women of the Crimean Tatar community, all of whom are experiencing trauma in the current conflict.
THE UN ODC “BLUE HEART” CAMPAIGN
Please focus your attention on the information regarding the Blue Campaign against the Trafficking of Humans and plan information awareness events so that your communities will become familiar with this horrific problem, which affects the lives of thousands of women and girls. Details about the campaign are available on the WFUWO website
Once again we thank our member organizations for their participation in our Annual Meeting held this year in Paris, France. We appreciate your positive comments regarding the agenda and the general program of the meeting. Please send us your organizational reports, presentations and notes from the discussion groups. Thank you to those who have already done so. We will be publishing these in our journal “Ukrainian Woman in the World.”
THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR
We gratefully acknowledge the work of the directors, teachers and supporters of the Ukrainian language schools in your countries with the onset of the new school year. We wish you a successful year educating our youth in Ukrainian language, and Ukrainian cultural and spiritual traditions, while instilling in them a true patriotism for their homeland.