As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the quarantine restrictions, the Swedish Embassy in Kiev has adapted its promotion work by launching a Democracy Talks webinar series. The first three webinars were about gender-based violence, the Swedish sexual purchases legislation and the role of public service broadcasting in crisis situations.
Because of reports of increased domestic violence and gender-based violence as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Embassy in Kiev decided to highlight the issue in its first digital Democracy Talks. Over one hundred people took part in the webinar, including Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Kateryna Pavlichenko, Government Commissioner for Gender Policy of Ukraine Kateryna Levchenko, Halyna Skipalska who works with shelters for people subjected to violence, and Katarina Bergehed from Amnesty International Sweden. The Embassy could see that the issue inspired a great deal of interest and engagement among the audience, and that it should always be a relevant topic – not just during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 14 May, a new Democracy Talks was held focusing on the importance of public service broadcasting in crisis situations, and the Embassy collaborated with Swedish Radio, the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine and the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine. Potential topics for future Democracy Talks include local self-governance and transparency in procurement. The Embassy says that the continued focus on democracy issues has become even more relevant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, as there is a risk of encroachment on respect for human rights.
Foto: Hilma Dahlström