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Kornienko, Arahamiya, Vereshchuk, ZIK and others got anti-award for sexism in 2020

08.12.2020, 15:52

The second edition of presenting of an anti-award for sexism "This is the Egg" was held in Kyiv. This year's nominees were MPs, officials, candidates at local elections, as well as the President of Ukraine; national TV channels and local publications. 

By voting from a short list of candidates for the anti-award, the jury selected the winners in two categories: " Sexist phrase" and " Sexist story ". Also this year, for the first time, the "This is the Egg" anti-award established a special award for a case that deserves special attention. 

In the nomination "Sexist phrase" the winners are:

The leader of the "Servant of the People" party and the leader of the faction of the same name, MP Oleksandr Kornienko and David Arahamiya 

The leader of the "Servant of the People" party Oleksandr Kornienko and the head of the faction in the Verkhovna Rada David Arakhamiya were found out to be involved in a sexist scandal during their visit to Mykolayiv. They spoke of their colleague Iryna Allahverdiyeva. The both MPs thought that the cameras were turned off and the sound was not recorded, when Kornienko said that their colleague Iryna Allahverdieeva was "a working bitch, like a ship's pine," and "a cutie pie, all told." And also discussed the colleague Tetyana Dombrovska who was the candidate for the mayor of the city of Mykolaiv from "Servant of the people": "Busy wifey, in general. As a ship pine. She is going to … three hundred of meetings in four months and she will win. She is really like this. Spry she is”.

Iryna Slavinska , gender coordinator of the campaign against sexism in the media and politics "Povaha" , noted that voters no longer wanted to tolerate sexism from MPs, and added: "First, immediately after the scandal emerged, politicians claimed that the video was edited and they did not pronounce these words. This is a curious symptom to see: indeed, today politicians do not want to be publicly associated with sexism, it is no longer very fashionable. So now they face a new challenge: it is time to stop talking sexist nonsense things in private.If someone professes disregard for women and he dare speak of women in such a tone, these habitudes are difficult to hide in the public sphere, it's like a pig in a poke. "

Slavinska mentioned another important point: Oleksandr Kornienko recorded an apology - a separate video in which he admitted that the form of what he was saying could be perceived as sexist.

"Of course, it would be better straighter say that that form of expression is sexist. But let not all at once - ironically expert of and commented further: - In my eyes this is a story of crime and punishment. Unacceptable word – outrage of wider audience - an attempt to justify all that with montage and intrigue of the detractors - the outrage of the general public - the apology and recognition of sexism. This is a story with a happy ending, which shows that voters no longer want to tolerate sexism in the mouths of elected officials. " 

Candidate for the post of mayor of Odessa Yevhen Chervonenko

In the "Government Quarter" program, Yevhen Chervonenko systematically insulted Halyna Yanchenko, a MP from the "Servant of the People" faction. She left the studio after the phrase: "Your level is to learn how to sit in a talk show studio, correctly and with your legs put nicely, young girl."

Iryna Zemlyana , a media expert and security coach at the Institute of Mass Information, emphasized that MP Halyna Yanchenko has repeatedly publicly faced disregard and humiliation. The incident in the “Government Quarter” program, where Chervonenko resorted to derogatory sexist comments, could not go unnoticed.

"The lowness and shamefulness of Chervonenko's remarks are disgusting, and it is unnecessary to comment on them. But this case shows that not everyone is protected from sexism, no matter what position they hold. Today, unfortunately, the achievements or actions of women politicians are barely discussed. Instead, everything comes to their look, color of shoes and "tell us the secre, how a woman can not work and combine it with her motherhood." They still stubbornly don’t see women as professionals, and female MPs are no exception. I am sure that we will change it, " - said Irina Zemlyana. 

Pavlo Dabizha, Head of the Center for Social Services for Families, Children and Youth in Kryvyi Rih 

The Head of the Center for Social Services for Children and Youth in Krivoy Rog Pavlo Dabizha posted comments over words of a womancelected member of city council of the Union "Samopomich" Lyudmila Boorman : "The greatest evil is to allow women and children to make important decisions , for example, to vote, no matter what these people look like. That is why universal suffrage and equality between men and women is nonsense. " The comment has been deleted so far, but we haven't seen a public apology for these words. Screenshot is available by link . 

Such statements spread intolerance towards women and are an example of public hate speech based on gender, says Tamara Martsenyuk  candidate of sociologic sciences, associate professor of sociology at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, and gender expert at the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union . 

"It is very unfortunate to see that all the state's efforts in recent decades to develop a policy of equal rights and opportunities for women and men are nullified by such comments from the official," the expert said.

In her view, such public opinion is unacceptable in a democratic society that has for many years embodied the ideas of equality and human rights. "It seems that the level of education and training of the head of the Center for Social Services for Families, Children and Youth does not meet the standards, " said Martsenyuk. She also advised the official to carefully read such important laws of Ukraine as " On Ensuring Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men " and " On Principles of Preventing and Combating Discrimination in Ukraine ". 

"Separately within the framework of the annual international campaign" 16 Days of Combating Gender-Based Violence ", which is currently taking place in Ukraine, it should be recalled that such views are intolerant of women and are an example of public hate speech based on gender," said Tamara Martsenyuk.

In the nomination "Sexist story" the winners are:


Former Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandra Klitina has announced the creation of her own party,” Ukraine Against Corruption”. The ex-civil servant recorded her video address wearing low neckline, which provoked a wave of discussions and shaming on social networks. Instead, ZIK channel launched a poll, whether her breasts were real or implanted. 

This case sexism commented deputy chief editor of "Detecto Media” Gala Sklyarevska: "This is probable, anchormen of TV channel do not know what is sexual objectification and the effects has an attitude to the female body as to an object that can be seen, spoken of and then to use it as if its owner was a mannequin, not a living person. But this was what the anchormen did in the studio, they made an object from a person, reducing her to some parts of her body and they broadcast this message to wide audience. This poll was condemned by the expert community, but the channel continued to broadcast and tolerate the guests' sexist remarks. " 

"Novyny of Cherkasy region" and "Tabloid 18000"

The two media outlets will share the anti-sexism award for downplaying the role of women in the headlines " Wife of Cherkasy Writer Wins Best Director at American Film Festival " and " Wife of Cherkasy Writer Award for Best Director ." It is about Ukrainian film director Iryna Tsilyk, who received the award of the American Independent Film Festival "Sundance" - 2020 for the best directorial work in the category of world documentary film in the film "Blue Earth Like an Orange" and a number of other awards at international film festivals. 

By publishing such a headline, the online editions downplayed the role of film director Iryna Tsilyk, devalued her work as an independent person and an expert in her field. This is a classic gender stereotype, which is often multiplied by the Ukrainian media, that "a woman herself is not capable of anything without a famous man," explains Yelizaveta Kuzmenko , chairwoman of the Women in Media Association and a member of the Commission on Journalism Ethics.

Does the woman film director deserve to mention her name in the headline, doesn’t she? The news is important :receiving a prestigious award. Instead, the media, which spread such a sexism, probably think that a man's writing is something more important for the news items. It's a pity, impartiality, balance, reliability, completeness and accuracy of information, avoid discrimination and sexism. By the way, this is also a requirement of the law, " Kuzmenko added.

The Gal-Info news agency published an article from the "Portrait of a Candidate" section. The heroine of the material was Oksana Yurynets, a candidate from the “Udar” party. The story was accompanied by an illustration depicting Oksana with large lips and long nails. Onecould see a large male shadow behind her. Gal-Info is used to portra the men in a completely different way. 

ZMINA Center for Human Rights journalist  Iryna Virtosu explained that when it was question of sexist phrases in the media and public space, the image itself is often ignored, if it was not about sexist advertising.

"It happens somethimes, the article is generally ok, a balanced presentation, but a single illustration is enough to cross everything out," the expert is convinced. As this is the case of the caricature of Oksana Yurynets. Although her opponent, Igor Zinkevych, was also shown in the same edition as a caricature, but as a successful, business man.

“His biggest drawback is his unshaven face. Moreover, both Oksana Yurynets and Ihor Zinkevych both have extensive experience in politics, are strong competitors and have their own team. Why, then, they depict  woman "traditionally" in a sexist way, as a person who is unable to make decisions and they focused on her look rather than on her business reputation? " - emphasizes Virtosu. 

Special award 

This year's special award is given to Kyiv City Council candidate Iryna Vereshchuk . 

For, Iryna Vereshchuk said : "When I hear about these" feminist movements ", I tell them:" Go to the army. And everything will fall into place. "

Iryna Tyshko, the coordinator of the #electionsWithoutsexism project, commented on: "Despite the fact that most of the complaints about sexist phrases we received during the anti-award concerned men, unfortunately, this year, we give a special award to a woman." 

The expert is convinced that Iryna Vereshchuk has shown an example of patriarchal thinking and inner misogyny. Tyshko also reminded that today, the Ukrainian parliament got the largest number of women for its history of independence: 21% of women MPs and almost 30,000 women are serving in the Ukrainian army.

"It became possible not by waving a magic wand, but due to the long struggle of the same feminists that Iryna Vereshchuk sends to the army. It is a pity that the politician rejects the fact that thanks to many years of efforts of the women's movement she got her right to elect and to be elected and her attitude "being blood brother in politics" is an illusion, because politics is still a male monopoly, which should be broken by women's solidarity and joint efforts. And this could be a lucky ticket to Vereshchuk's mayoral ambitions" Tyshko concluded. 

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