by Miceál O’Hurley
NEW YORK — War has not stopped Ukraine from continuing its now decade-long leadership in the area of women’s empowerment. While the Ukrainian government, especially under the leadership of President Volodymyr Zelenskii, has continued to support women’s empowerment, an innovative new research project led by Ms. Ayla Bakkalli, the Crimean Tatar Representative at the United Nations on the Indigenous People’s Council and her associates has taken a ‘deep dive’ into the issue of empowerment as it relates to Crimean Tatar women. The study, ‘Beyond Cig Borek’ Crimean Tatar Women’s Access to Empowerment within Public Spaces is the first of its kind. Soliciting the views and opinions of Crimean Tatar women, Bakkalli’s study is supported by her co-researcher Evelina Abdullaieva of Kyiv National Economic University.
The panel discussion included leaders at all levels of women’s organisations in Ukraine and its diaspora including:
- Ayla Bakkalli – the Crimean Tatar Representative for Indigenous People at the United Nations
- Mavilie Demirdzhaieva – another Crimean Tatar Youth Activist who has already served internships at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the all-important Committee for European Integration at the Verkhovna Rada – Ukraine’s Parliament.
- Roxolana Wynar – a Scholar at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and a well-known human rights activist and civil society actor
- Martha Kichorowska Kebalo, whose Doctorate in Cultural Anthropology from the Graduate Center at CUNY and upcoming publication “The UNWLA 1925-2020: Women’s Community, Citizenship, and Commitment in the Ukrainian Diaspora” give her deep insights in to her work as a Representative to the United Nations for the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organisations; and,
- the distinguished Ukrainian Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States – Her Excellency Ms. Oksana Markarova.
The full-length recording of the panel can be viewed here: