Ukraine's accession to the Biarritz Partnership for Gender Equality was initiated by First Lady Olena Zelenska in December last year.
In May, the Cabinet of Ministers voted for the country's accession to the international Biarritz Partnership. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba sent a corresponding letter from the Government to the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic with a statement on Ukraine's participation in the Biarritz Partnership on an ongoing basis.
At a ceremonial event on the occasion of Ukraine's accession to the Biarritz Partnership, French Ambassador to Ukraine Etienne de Poncins presented a formal written response from Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic Jean-Yves Le Drian. The event was attended by First Lady Olena Zelenska, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna, ambassadors of the G7 countries and Sweden, as well as representatives of international organizations.
“This is an important step for Ukraine towards equality in a broad sense - regardless of gender, age, cultural, physical or mental differences. The experience and support of the participating countries and the expertise gathered in the framework of the Biarritz Partnership will certainly be of great importance in our work to create equal opportunities for all Ukrainians," the First Lady said.
The French ambassador, in turn, invited Ukraine to participate in the Generation Equality Forum, convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France, with the aim of mobilizing all those working towards gender equality and making ambitious commitments in this area.
As a member of the Biarritz Partnership, Ukraine assumes commitments in five areas: developing a barrier-free public space, friendly to families with children and low-mobility groups; teaching children the principles of equality between women and men; preventing violence; reducing the pay gap between women and men; and creating greater opportunities for men to care for children.
The Biarritz Partnership was launched by the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) states at a summit in Biarritz, France, on August 25, 2019, chaired by French President Emmanuel Macron. The initiative is aimed at strengthening the responsibility of the G7 and consolidating the efforts of other states to achieve gender equality.