Our mission: creation of space for the development of the feminist community in Lviv and Ukraine.
Our definition of feminism includes the advancement of women, as well as more profound changes in societal norms and combating discrimination and violence of various kinds. We use the word “feminism” in order to implement ideas of a diverse, inclusive and gender-sensitive world via integrative methods.
Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion in Ukraine “Feminist workshop” has widened the range of its activities. Not only did the full-scale war worsen the problems that already were prevalent in the society – it also added new challenges and compelled activists to set up new areas of work. Babysitting, helping with accommodation, elderly care, psychological support for the community – even this list of organization’s activities is not exhaustive. Find more about our work during the full-scale war here
Within horizontal organizational structure, managers of the “Feminist workshop” are responsible for the stable work of the organization and its key directions. Furthermore, members of the organization and other activists that share our values actively participate in our project activities.
“Feminist workshop” was created in 2014. It was founded by activists with both theoretical knowledge of feminism and practical experience obtained from participation in other initiatives. They aimed to create a space, where it would be possible to make things by hand (embroider, knit, cook) and discuss feminism with other women. Nowadays we are a registered organization that works in various key directions in order to contribute to profound social changes. How did we get this far?
June — workshops “Women’s workshop” at the Lviv festival “Urban workshop”;
October — we get flexible funding for one year of educational activities from the Young Feminist Fund FRIDA (since then, we got it every year up until 2021).
January — workshop “What is feminism”;
8 March — our first street campaign at the International Women’s Day;
February-December — educational project “Gender education” that included ten lectures and exhibitions from Ukrainian activists in Lviv.
April — we registered NGO “Feminist workshop” and won our right to use feminitives in the statute;
Spring — we created a website femwork.org full of the unique feminist content aimed at youth;
Summer — our work with teenage girls began;
Winter — we made it to the Top-3 of Lviv NGOs that are most successful in networking.
February — first Feminist activism school (it was also organized in 2018);
March — our first exhibition “Female professionals“;
Summer — we began collaborating with musicians and organizing parties;
Summer — we began filming vlogs about feminism;
Autumn — our first school lessons about discrimination.
September — we formed a program of activities as part of the Bookforum (it was also done in 2019);
January-December — for the first time we organized “Residence of solidarity“, a project that brought Ukrainian feminists together and gave them space to collaborate and create knowledge and products.
Spring — anti-militarist project “(не) на часі” (“(Not) the right time”);
March — for the first time we put together a city program of feminist events organized for 8 March “Women in action” (promoted in 2020 and 2021 as the program “Feminist Spring”;
Summer — lectures series about women in the art history “Art (Her)story“;
Autumn — we were short-listed for the International award “With and for girls”.
Spring — we reformed organizational structure with fixed functional positions;
Spring — online feminist writing school for the activists from Ukraine and CIS;
Spring — online activism course for feminists from Lviv “FemMedia”;
Summer — video lectures about women in history of photography “(Her)story of photography“.
February 24 – Present –shelters for activists, women, and children; program of humanitarian support of elder women, phycological support, free babysiter servise for refegees.
Spring – Present – continuation of teenagers club “Girls can!”
Summer – Present – podcast “Feminist about war”
What do we do?
Our main areas of work are:
- gender and feminist education;
- creation, support and development of the feminist community;
- building a network that would unite different leaders and city institutions in order to bring feminist values to life.
Our basic principles are (click to read more):
- horizontality (we make decisions together, either on monthly meetings or online);
- inclusivity (if possible, needs of all the members are taken into account);
- engagement of new members (women, transgender and intersex people);
- open-minded attitude to new perspectives.
We mainly focus on combating gender stereotypes, spreading feminist ideas and fighting various kinds of discrimination. Our projects include:
- “Gender education”. Ten public lectures from the professionals invited from different cities, 2015
- Exhibition “Female professionals” in the center of Lviv presenting portraits of experts in various fields, 2016 and
Exhibition #скотчмакулатура featuring works by Masha Pronina, 2019
- Street protests at International women’s day and 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, annually since 2015
- Clubs and camps for teenage girls: Girls Space (2016), Girls Rule (2020), club “Girls can!“
- Educational events held on the regular basis: English Speaking Club and reading club “Череда” (“Chereda”), 2018-2019 р.
- Lecture courses “Art (Her)story” (2020) and “(Her)story of photography” (2021) about women in these fields and gender inequality
- Online school FemMedia (2020)
- International feminist writing online school
- Feminist theory online school for Ukrainian activists (2021)
We also focus on the themes of reproductive health and sexual education. We organized:
- Residence of solidarity, residence in Lviv where Ukrainian activists made events products together. Among the results of the residence were the brochure about menstruation and lecture on contraception
- Sexual education lessons during teenage camp Girls space, 2016 and online lesson “Everything you wanted to know about first sex – but were too afraid to ask”
- There are dozens of articles about sexual education, first sex, sexualized violence and sexuality in general that can be found on our website and in our social media accounts.
- Lecture “Women’s pleasure” from American sex educator Samantha Zipporah, 2019
- Art and advocacy workshop on women’s rights, forum theatre about reproductive violence (2018)
- Regular meetings of women’s consciousness raising group about sex.
Our activities are profoundly LBTIQ+ inclusive. When making events and creating content we take into account their experience and needs. We also make special events about LBTIQ+ rights, such as:
- Lecture “Right to my own body: intersex community in Ukraine and around the world”
- Lesbian poetry readings
- Screenings of queer animation by KISFF
- Queer parties
- We also celebrate Lesbian Visibility Day by making thematic posts
We promote women’s labor and economic rights. We organized a “Women’s leadership development program” (2018-2019) whereby we studied working conditions of seamstresses and labor migrants. Afterwards we made an exhibition and presentations about the topic. We also presented the results of the study of the minimum fair wage and filmed an advocacy video about fair labor (2020). We present alternative economic models by studying how cooperatives work and discussing capitalism. We also cooperate with trade unions and other organizations and solidarize with the protesters.
We also speak about beauty standards and promote body positivity:
- Project “Бути в тілі” (“To be in body”) (2018) that combined art and research
- Exhibition “Breastfeeding in public space” (2020)
- Lectures “Creation or recreation: who owns our beauty” and “Body and mind under market economy“
Since 2015 we have been working on the topic of the effects of the war: we reflect upon societal militarization and women’s status both on the frontline and on the home front.
- Lectures for women “Crimean Peninsula since the moment of annexation till present” and “Ukrainian nationalism: from Maidan till the war”, presentations “Yugoslav wars through the lens of feminist critical art”, “Women in the war zone” (2015)
- Project “(не) на часі” (“(Not) the right time”) (2019)
- Screenings of the series “Озброєні та небезпечні” (“Armed and dangerous”) (2020)
We contribute to women’s self-improvement and prevention of psychological problems by organizing presentations and psychological meetings:
- Videos from teenage girls about personal boundaries, finding yourself and unlearning internalized homophobia
- Exhibition series of events about fears that women face and how to deal with them
- Lectures about toxic relationships, about narcissistic behaviour
- Support groups for experts
With the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, we started new activities, namely:
- housing for refegees and activists from regions where active hostilities are taking place
- humanitarian support for elderly women in Lviv
- free babysitting services for refegee’s children
- psychological support