Analysis of decentralization reform in Ukraine from the perspective of gender equality and human rights-based approach

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Andriana Kostenko, DSc, Yuliya Savelyeva, PhD; Nina Svitailo, PhD, and Kristina Sakhno, Nurgul Asylbekova, Nadiya Sirenko, Vira Melnyk, Nataliya Mishyna, Olha Romaniuk, Oksana Tsiupa, and Vyacheslav Balan

The research covers gaps in the analysis of implications of the decentralization reform to the realization of human rights of women and men in Ukraine, with a particular focus to the status of women facing multiple forms of discrimination. The key research questions include how decentralization of power, services and budgets and amalgamation of local communities affect the realization of political, economic and social rights of the most vulnerable groups, including rural women, women with disabilities, women living with HIV / AIDS, LBTIQ and Roma women.

The policy analysis includes gender and human rights analysis of normative and policy framework on decentralization, analysis of existing practices of provision of services in Amalgamated Territorial Communities (ATCs) for women and men, especially those in vulnerable situation and participation of women in local development, from the perspective of GE and HRBA. The policy analysis is based on the results of semi-structured interviews with experts at the national and regional levels, focus group interviews with women and men, including those in a vulnerable situations and a representative survey of women and men, including those in a vulnerable situation.

The research updates UNDP/UN Women publication “Analysis of vulnerabilities of women and men in the context of decentralization in the conflict-affected areas of Ukraine” from 2018 with a gender analysis of newly adopted legislation on local elections, transferring of social services from national to the local level, new administrative-territorial borders, and the COVID-19 implications to access of vulnerable groups to local services and resources.

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