Oksana Dutchak (Ukraine), Julie Ward (England) and Vicky Blake (England) met in our virtual Feminist Kitchen to talk about women’s labour rights in Ukraine during the war, solidarity campaigns by British trade unions and the outlook for feminism in Europe.

Vicky Blake spoke about the activities that British trade unionists are organising to support the Ukrainian resistance and her impressions of communicating with the British left:

  • There’s an issue if you’re hoping that by magic situation [war in Ukraine] will be okay if we just talking about peace.

 Oksana Dutchak described the challenges faced by women working in Ukraine:

  •  Governments finally did what they have always wanted: deregulated labor code in 2022, justifying it by full scale invasion of Russia and necessities of the war time.

Julie Ward shared her insights into the pan-European mood in politics:

  •   Women’s rights have been threatened by the resurgence of reactionary trends, targeting women who try to move out from their subordinate role.

She also voiced her forecast for the European Parliament elections:

  •  It looks like progressive will lose seats and right, and particularly far right, will gain seats (in European parliament

Calling for a joint fight for the preservation of our rights at the European level, Julie noted that the European Commission and the European Union have a very progressive view of the state of women’s rights and vulnerable communities, even compared to the UK’s policies.

Oksana Dutchak also called for European left-wing forces to help influence the reconstruction in Ukraine, to be fair:

  •  

    European parliamentary leftists who could potentially have influence on how Ukrainian project of reconstruction would look like, just abstain from this discussion. And so European liberals and neo-liberals frame it.

In the end, Julie, who has many years of experience in activism, inspiringly called for us to continue our struggle together:

  • Find your allies. Work with this people at all those levels. Push for diversity. Use creativity, humor, joy, opportunity to socialize.Celebrate every win and mark it every year.

During the talk, the artist Viktoriia Cherkhakhivska tells about the significance of the willow tree in Ukraine, pre-Easter traditions and shows how to make an illustration of a willow tree using the traditional Ukrainian technique of vytynanka.

We invite you to watch the conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOlqGKnPZxM.

You can find out more about the project and previous events on the main page of the Ukrainian Feminist Kitchen project.

The collage was created by Viktoriia Cherniakhivska from the works of the event’s participants.

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