Ukrainian women artists awarded on International Women’s Day


Winners of the “Women in Arts. The Resistance Award” 2023 in Ukraine. Photo: UN Women/Stas Kartashov.
Winners of the “Women in Arts. The Resistance Award” 2023 in Ukraine. Photo: UN Women/Stas Kartashov.

For the fourth year in a row, UN Women and the Ukrainian Institute hosted the Women in Arts. The Resistance Award to highlight the achievements of Ukrainian women working in culture and the arts and to celebrate their contribution to victory. The winners were announced on March 7, on the eve of International Women's Day 2023

The winners of the Awards are: 

  • Women in Visual Arts –– Alevtyna Kakhidze
  • Women in Music –– Alla Zahaikevych
  • Women in Theatre –– Nina Zakhozhenko
  • Women in Film –– Alina Horlova
  • Women in Literature –– Halyna Kruk
  • Women in Cultural Management –– Yuliia Vahanova
  • Women in Cultural Journalism, Criticism and Research –– Anastasia Platonova
  • Special mention –– Yuliia “Cuba” Sidorova

Fourty-Nine independent experts in different arts and culture fields were involved in the process of selecting nominees and winners. The Awards criteria includes achievements, national and/or international recognition, creative method, as well as contribution to victory. The list of the expert council and the jury can be found here.

"It is very important that despite the difficult time of a full-scale war, the Women in Arts Award honours Ukrainian artists and cultural figures. Russia is waging a genocidal war and trying to erase Ukrainian culture and identity as such, which is why their preservation and development are so important. Award nominees and laureates play a key role here. The award also contributes to the strengthening of Ukraine's human potential, which will be of critical importance in post-war reconstruction," said Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Chairperson of the Award`s Supervisory Board.

“In times of uncertainty, culture plays a crucial role. It brings people together, strengthens society, and paves the way for the country’s future. In the past years, the Women in Arts Award has become the platform to present diverse talents and showcase the achievements of Ukrainian female artists. This year's Award is even more special to us. It honors two years of cultural achievements and celebrates Ukrainian women’s contributions to resistance and recovery. It’s our way to celebrate Ukrainian women's exceptional dignity, courage, resilience, and talent,” emphasized Sabine Freizer, Representative of UN Women Ukraine.

Ukrainian Women’s Manifesto

The premiere of the Women's Manifesto "You Are a Great Power" created by MEGOGO LIVE channel took place during the Award ceremony. The manifesto is an author's song and video performed by singers Sasha Koltsova ("Krykhitka"), Maryna Krut`, ROXOLANA, and Olena Karas ("Tonka"), who also wrote the music. Some of the nominees for this year's Award starred in the video including Alevtyna Kakhidze, Albina Yaloza, Victoria Amelina, Halyna Kruk, Lizaveta Herman, Lyubov Yakymchuk, Nina Zahozhenko, and Oksana Cherkashyna. 

The song, which became sort of a soundtrack for the Women in Arts Award aims to emphasize the strength and contribution of Ukrainian women to culture, in particular, during the full-scale invasion. The video can be viewed on the MEGOGO LIVE YouTube channel.

"The fire doesn't burn the stubborn" – was the motto of this year's Awards, which covered the two previous years. In 2022, the ceremony did not take place due to the full-scale invasion, so the Women in Arts Award 2023 took on a new meaning, embedded in the name "The Resistance" as well as in in the visual identity of the award. 

Every year the modern Ukrainian artist and sculptor Maria Kulikovska create statuettes, especially for the Women in Arts Award. The form of the statuette is the hands of a woman, which are intertwined. According to the artist, women's hands symbolize support and protection, as well as women's work. The artist's hands were used as the basis for the sculpture.

“Women in Arts” is an independent award founded in 2019 by the Ukrainian Institute and UN Women Ukraine as part of the HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality. The purpose of the award is to draw attention to the achievements of Ukrainian women working in the fields of culture and art.

UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

HeForShe is a global solidarity movement for gender equality, founded by UN Women, in which men and boys are the main agents of change. Since its launch in 2014, the campaign has been joined by heads of state, leading scientists, global corporate executives, athletes, artists, and gender equality opinion leaders. In Ukraine, the movement was launched in 2018, enabled by financial support from Sweden.

The Ukrainian Institute is a state institution in the field of management of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. The mission of the Ukrainian Institute is to strengthen the international and internal subjectivity of Ukraine through cultural diplomacy. We establish international cultural links between people and institutions and create opportunities for Ukrainians to interact with the world.

MEGOGO LIVE is a music and entertainment channel created by the MEGOGO media service at the end of 2018. The main goal of the project is to support modern Ukrainian music and popularize young artists. In 2022, the channel created the MEGOGO MUSIC AWARDS.