UN Women and the Ukrainian Institute
to present six Women
in Arts Awards in 2020
Women in Arts is an independent award, established in 2019 by UN Women and the Ukrainian Institute as a part of the HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality.
The purpose of the Award is to support and promote the professional advancement of Ukrainian women in the field of art at national and international levels, as well as to address gender stereotypes and eliminate inequalities.

This year's nominees will be awarded in six nominations:
  • women in the visual arts: authors working with a variety of media, including sculpture, painting, new media, and more;
  • women in music: authors of musical works, composers;
  • women in theatre and film: directors, actresses, screenwriters;
  • women in literature: writers and poets;
  • women in cultural management: curators, film producers, organisers of music and film festivals, cultural forums, etc.;
  • women in cultural journalism, criticism and research: women researchers, art critics, publicists, literary critics, film and theatre experts, art historians, editors.

    "Historically women had fewer opportunities to fulfil their potential in profession, in particular in arts and culture. That is why their work remains largely invisible in art history and less accessible to the general public even now. This Award seeks to establish a new tradition of recognizing women's contributions to culture both in Ukraine and abroad. At the same time, we want to emphasize the importance of linking artists from generation to generation", said Dominika Stojanoska, UN Women Acting Head of Office.

    The category "Women in Cultural Journalism, Criticism and Research" was added this year.

    Tetyana Filevska, Creative Director of the Ukrainian Institute, tells about this innovation: "The award is evolving, and this year we have realized that a very important element in a cultural ecosystem, namely cultural journalism, criticism and research, needs special recognition. Even within the art community itself, the field of criticism and research is usually left in the shadows, with women working there not receiving due recognition.
    With the launch of a new nomination, we want to take on the role of women who conduct research, describe and analyze the field of arts. Without this invisible work, the art system cannot function, so we want to acknowledge the contribution of critics, journalists, researchers and editors".

    The organising committee invited more than 40 reputable experts in the fields of literature, visual arts, music, theatre and cinema and other targeted areas to take part in the selection process. The nominees for the award were chosen in accordance with the regulations that outline all the stages of the process, as well as the award's selection criteria. The basic requirements for nominees are professional achievements, reputation, innovation and national or international recognition.

    The evaluation of nominees is conducted by the expert council and expert jury that are professionals of their respective field and represent the public sector and independent institutions. The expert jury comprised of men and women equally.

    The list of experts can be found by the link.

    The last year's winners were: Irma Vitovska-Vantsa (theatre and cinema), Vlada Ralko (visual art), Nina Garenetska (music), Kateryna Kalytko (literature), Olesya Ostrovska-Lyuta (cultural management).

    The results and names of the winners will be announced at the award ceremony on 12 March, the day that marks the second HeForShe movement's anniversary in Ukraine. The ceremony's hosts will be Roman Vintoniv (Michael Schur) and Yaroslava Kravchenko, who are the advocates of the movement in Ukraine.

    The statuette for the Women in Arts Award was created by the Ukrainian sculptor Maria Kulikovskaya. It is shaped as a brush of intertwined female hands. According to the artist, female hands symbolize support and protection, as well as women's work, which often goes unnoticed. The artist used own hands when forming the sculpture.

    HeForShe is a global solidarity movement in support of gender equality, initiated by UN Women. The HeForShe movement provides a systematic approach and targeted platform where men and boys from around the world can engage and become change agents for the achievement of gender equality.

    Since launching in 2014, the campaign has been joined by Heads of State, leading academics, global corporate executives, athletes, artists and thought leaders who share the philosophy of gender equality. In Ukraine, the movement was launched in 2018, enabled by the financial support from Sweden.