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The anti-crisis policy influence on gender inequality in Ukraine during 2014–2017


The article analyzes anti-crisis policy of the Ukrainian government between 2014 and 2017 from the perspective of possible influence on gender inequality. It reviews foreign researchers’ conclusion on the negative impact of neoliberal anti-crisis policy on women. The article highlights the absence of suggested analysis in Ukraine despite the relevance of these issues. It also emphasizes the lack of research on the issue of non-institutional state support of reproductive labor in Ukraine.

Based on statistics, the article shows the intensification of socio-economic gender inequality in Ukraine after the beginning of the crisis in 2014. It distinguishes key indicators of growing inequality in labor market and pension system. The article analyzes how the anti-crisis policy of the government, implemented in order to cut budget expenses, became one of the causes of the mentioned processes. The article concentrates on gender aspects in the spheres of labor market regulation and state support of reproductive labor, and also in the state sector reform. Among policies and reforms which have structurally influenced women are: freezing the legal minimum wage and the legal subsistence minimum, reformation of social payments and subsidies for children and childrearing, cuts in employment and facilities in the public sector. Such neoliberal anti-crisis policies deteriorated the situation of women, especially those in socially vulnerable groups.

The analysis allows identifying several additional characteristics that influence women’s vulnerability, which are: older age, living in rural areas, as well as family circumstances that increase reproductive labor burden, i.e. having children or adults who require attendance. Besides, due to war, new vulnerable groups appear, such as internally displaced persons and people who live in or near the combat zone.

The article allows to conclude that, despite some measures to overcome gender inequality, a lack of sensibility to the gender dimension in neoliberal socio-economic policy in general and the lack of attention to the state support of reproductive labor specifically deteriorate women’s situation and hinder a systematic progress towards gender equality.

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