In 2019, the Ukrainian Institute and UN Women Ukraine established the Women In Arts Award 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. An awarding ceremony is held annually in March within the global HeForShe Arts Week
Female artists are awarded in the following categories: Women in Visual Arts:
authors working in sculpture, painting, new media, illustration; Women in Music:
composers, singers, performers, conductors; Women in Theatre:
directors, actresses, screenwriters, set designers; Women in Film:
directors, actresses, screenwriters, camerawomen; Women in Literature:
writers, poets, and translators; Women in Cultural Management:
curators, film producers, organizers of music and film festivals, cultural forums;Women in Cultural Journalism, Criticism, and Research
: women researchers, art critics, publicists, literary critics, film and theatre experts, art historians, editors (added in 2020); Special Mention:
women whose activities cannot be assigned to any of the categories of the award, but whose contribution to Ukrainian culture is important (added in 2021).
Key factors for selecting winners include professional achievements, reputation, innovative artistic methods, as well as national or international recognition. The Expert Council and the Expert Jury include a gender-balanced set of experts in respective fields of art, representing governmental bodies as well as independent institutions.
Each category's winner is awarded a statuette called "Hands", created specially for the Women in Arts Award by artist Maria Kulikovska. The statuette features intertwined female hands which, according to the artist, symbolize support and protection, as well as cooperation between women which often remains unnoticed.