I am Generation Equality: Tatiana Chebac, a young lawyer and active promoter of women’s and LGBTQ people’s rights in Moldova

Billions of people across the world stand on the right side of history every day. They speak up, take a stand, mobilize, and take big and small actions to advance women’s rights. This is Generation Equality.

Date: Tuesday, June 1, 2021

I am Generation Equality
Tatiana Chebac is a lawyer and the president of the ‘GENDERDOC-M’ NGO, which promotes the rights of LGBTQ people in Moldova. Photo: UN Women
Tatiana Chebac is a lawyer and the president of the ‘GENDERDOC-M’ NGO, which promotes the rights of LGBTQ people in Moldova. Photo: UN Women

I am Generation Equality because…

Three steps you can take to be part of Generation Equality:

  • Spread the word about gender equality in your network.
  • Name and report inequalities. Everyone can fight against inequality that she/he has faced or witnessed.
  • Be an activist even in a small circle of people or in a community.

I am a woman and I care about what is happening to me and other women around me. I have a very strong sense of injustice. Social inequalities pain me. Why do women feel unsafe on the streets, are harassed and whistled at by men, while men feel very confident to do this?

Women in Moldova are still victims of violence and sexual harassment. Sexism is everywhere, online and offline, in public discourse. Women in decision-making positions are evaluated not by their professional merits, but by the way they look and what is happening in their private lives. Our educational system is shaping girls and boys in a very traditional way. Girls are portrayed as future housewives, mothers, and teachers, while boys are educated as future successful men, strong and confident.

Women face too many problems, many more than men. Most of the issues that women face are aggravated by the cultural norms that surround us. When, in fact, every person deserves to be safe and happy. So, from this feeling of injustice, my professional journey started.

I chose to speak out against all the injustices

I was born into a family of lawyers. Since I was small, my parents taught me that many people in this world need support and help. I was educated to help others who are in a less favorable situation than me. When I was 12, I participated in a project related to victims of human trafficking. Since my childhood, I 'boiled in this water` and I chose to become a lawyer and to speak out about all the injustices.

SDG color stripe

“The fight for gender equality is also the fight for the freedom and safety of each person.”

SDG color stripe

If we are not speaking out about the issues around us, this means we are living a lie. I still remember, back in 2015, when the activists from Moldova started to call out sexism in the public sphere. This was because of my rebuke towards one man that he is sexist, I received the answer from him that ‘I am sexy too’. Today, the public discourse about sexism has become more professional. Sexist speeches are less present in the public sphere and there is already a legal framework against sexist language and advertising. If we want a change, we have to speak up. 

Even if it is not very easy to promote gender equality in Moldova, I wish as many people as possible become gender equality activists. Being an activist does not necessarily mean participating in marches and protests. You can be an activist by pushing back when you hear sexist jokes among your friends or relatives, and by promoting the ideas of equality among your peers.

This is about all of us

We should all be involved in addressing the inequalities in our society. This is about all of us. Gender stereotypes affect all of us, adults and children.

Maybe you have been lucky to not face any inequality or discrimination, but tomorrow it could happen to someone close to you or even to you.

People need to fight for their freedom, for their rights to be who they want to be. The fight for gender equality is also the fight for the freedom and safety of each person. It is very simple.

Tatiana Chebac, 28, is a human rights advocate. She works as a lawyer for the Law Center of Lawyers NGO and is the president of another NGO, GENDERDOC-M, which promotes the rights of the LGBTQ community in Moldova.