USAID Energy Security Project and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine promote gender equality and inclusivity in the security sector

May 22, 2023

USAID Energy Security Project (ESP) has launched a collaborative effort with the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU) to integrate the principles of gender equality and social inclusivity into the security and civil defense sectors. These principles are considered one of the most important aspects of the SESU’s key activities, in addition to emergency response and disaster management, rescue operations, rescue team management, and the overall organization of civil defense, emergency protection, and emergency prevention.

Screenshot by USAID Energy Security Project (ESP)

This cooperation started as the result of a meeting between ESP and SESU, with over 70 participants discussing various diversity and inclusivity issues. During the meeting, participants also reviewed potential methods and tools to facilitate the equal treatment and rights of men and women in the security sector, including international experiences in the field.

Speaking to the SESU participants, the USAID ESP Gender Expert Yulia Galustian noted: ‘The gender-inclusive approach helps us understand the gender differences and consider gender aspects when developing emergency response strategies, planning activities, taking decisions, and delivering services. It is why ESP began this joint work with the SESU to promote equal rights and opportunities for women and men’.

Head of SESU Gender Equality Sector Yulia Maligonova highlighted: ‘A female rescuer is no longer something phenomenal in our society. Yet people may still react ambiguously as such choices by women challenge traditional expectations and are about women taking social roles attributed to men for a long time. In Ukraine, gender issues are being considered at the highest governing level, including the security and defense sector. The State Emergency Service of Ukraine is an integral part of this sector. We are in constant cooperation with international institutions, central and local executive authorities, self-governments, and national and international non-governmental organizations to enhance the equality of rights and opportunities for women and men and counter and prevent gender-based violence. Thus, the cooperation with the USAID Energy Security Project will support these efforts.’

Furthermore, Yulia Galustian presented ESP’s proposed gender-inclusive approach for the security sector at the National Research to Practice Conference ‘Civil Defense as an Area of Young Scholar Development’ at the Cherkasy Fire Safety Institute of the National University of Civil Defense. 

We are looking forward to many effective joint events to integrate the principles of gender equality and social inclusion into Ukraine’s security and civil defense sectors.