Stereotyped Ukraine

This post is by Olga Pakos as part of the series ‘Culture and Human Rights: Challenging Cultural Excuses for Gender-Based Violence’ hosted by and

Violence has existed in Ukraine since ancient times. Through the centuries, it has not gone away, it is a phenomenon that has been inherited, fostered and successfully ingrained into modern society, as proven by the statistics. Through art, song, mythology and language violence is passed on from generation to generation.  It is born with us. This is as simple as it looks: there is a child who needs to be brought up and is there any way to convey education without threats, intimidation, pressure and sometimes even battery?


Ukrainian arts and crafts are full of methodology of an educational process based on threats of bodily harm. For instance, in case of a light and even spontaneous trifling one can hear something like: “I will beat the shit out of you!” or “You’ll get beaten like a wine apple!”, or even “You should be spanked, but nobody cares to do it (or what do you mean by nobody cares?)!” Apparently, a threat is the only tool for bringing up a child. If it doesn’t work, a threat will come true. This particular method is inherited from generation to generation until one tries to break the link in the chain. However, this is rare because when they to explain that there are more effective methods without any psychological trauma or physical pain for raising a child, they often hear: “My parents brought me up in the SAME way, so what? I’m a normal person now. Just like my child will be.”

Ukrainian Muslim woman loses court battle for the right to be photographed in headscarf

Publication Date: 
July 6, 2010

The Kyiv District Administrative Court has rejected the suit brought on behalf of 25-year-old Susanna Ismailova from Bakhchysarai (the Crimea). She had asked the court to order the Ministry of Internal Affairs [MIA] to allow her to have a passport photo taken in her hijab or Muslim headscarf.

The court deemed that Ms Ismailova’s rights were not restricted by the insistence that she be photographed without the scarf.