Posts Tagged ‘Ukrainian women’


Швейцарского телевидения ищет женщин в Одессе/Swiss TV looking for female in Odessa

September 17, 2013

Я связался Патрисией Банзер Швейцарского национального телевидения, которая ищет молодую женщину в Одессе, чтобы говорить о том, что именно – молодая женщина в Одессе и с которыми они сталкиваются, касающихся прав женщин. Предпочтительно активное участие в кампании за права женщин, хотя молодая девушка со свежим и интересным подходом к теме также будет представлять интересю

Всех, кто заинтересован и доступен на разговор с Швейцарским национальным телевидением в пятницу 20 сентября тогда пожалуйста, не пишите мне, но электронная почта Патрисии напрямую; patricia.banzer @

I have been contacted by Patricia Banzer of Swiss National Television, who is looking for a young woman in Odessa to talk about being exactly that – a young woman in Odessa and the issues they face relating to womens rights.  Preferably active in campaigning for womens rights, although a young lady with a fresh and interesting approach to the subject would also be of interest.

Anybody interested and available talk with Swiss National Television on Friday 20th September,  to please do not contact me, but email Patricia directly:


Shrinking demographics – 33-36 million forecast for 2050 in Ukraine

July 16, 2013

Rather unsurprisingly Ukrainian demographics are forecast to shrink to between 33 – 36 million by 2050 from the current 45/46 million.  Unsurprisingly because European demographics are going to shrink by 2050.

With demographics, it is often wise to look at the big data to understand that of the small more comprehensively.

In fact by 2050 the “western world” (Europe+ USA+Canada+ Australia etc) will account for only 1.5 trillion people from the estimated 10 trillion people on the planet – at which point, as ably displayed by the peerless Hans Rosling, the numbers of humans on the planet will plateau.

(Watch from 34.18 onwards – prior to that it is a waste of your life)

Should this be of concern or should it be welcomed?

Though I am not a woman, I would suggest it would be welcomed by women in particular – after all, for reasons of automation negating the “muscular mans world” to almost parity, by removing the need for physical strength and replacing it with joy-pad controlled  hydraulics, pressing a pre-programmed computer button to shape steel and the numerous other ways hard physical labour has been replaced by machine, plus improved health care and individual control of reproduction, reducing the need to have 10 children for 3 to survive – demographics will decline correspondingly with female emancipation/opportunity.

As Asia and Africa become more industrially advanced, child birth is likely to reduce there, just as it has in the “western world” for the same reasons – hence the anticipated plateau of the number of humans reaching approximately 10 trillion.

The question therefore facing the Ukrainian government is not only how to deal with and maximise output from shrinking national demographics, but also how to manage and maximise Ukrainian commodities and human capital in amongst an expanding – then plateauing – human race.

For policy makers on a global scale, the question is how to manage the planets resources to sustain 10 trillion.


Ukraine ranked 64th for gender equality

April 14, 2013

There has been so much written on gender equality over the years I am not going to attempt to write anything that would be meaningful, thoughtful or new.

Suffice to say, Ukraine has just been ranked 64th globally when it comes to gender equality – drawing this response from Natalia Korolevska, the Ukrainian Minister for Social Policy.

It is difficult to disagree with anything she said.

Perhaps most poignant is this, “But if this programme remains solely a framework document, where it is written that we are all for good and against bad things, that we will hold round table meetings and let women go first, then it all would not be enough for our country to ensure the empowerment of women.”  – which as regular readers will know is a major criticism of mine regarding every government Ukraine has ever had – Ineffective implementation!


Odessa joins in World Breastfeeding Week – 5th August

August 2, 2012

For those of you who didn’t know, 1st – 7th August is World Breastfeeding Week as promoted by the WHO and UNICEF.  It is celebrated, or probably more correctly stated, promoted, across more than 170 nations each year and has been for the past 20 years.  In fact this is the 20th year since the WHO and UNICEF decided to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

Writing as somebody completely uninformed, it seems to be a very reasonable idea and a completely natural.

Odessa has been involved in supporting this project since 2009 – better late than never!

Anyway, on 5th August at City Garden (next to the fountain) a series of events and lectures will take place from 11.30 to raise the profile of breastfeeding, and the organisers and local authorities are encouraging as many mothers with children 0-2 years to attend as possible.  (One imagines that some form of statistics harvesting will occur in Odessa, just as in other places around the planet, for the use of the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding statisticians to sweat over between now and next year.)

Hence I am making this entry (here in English and in Russian elsewhere) to raise the profile of this event prior to 5th August if you happen to be in Odessa.  Of course if you aren’t, there may well be a similar event where you are advertised somewhere on the Internet you don’t know about.

Anyway, well done Odessa for being involved in this program and well done to any mothers (or would-be mothers) attending as well.

If you are a tourist and happen to be in City Garden, Odessa, on 5th August, don’t be surprised to find a lot of women sat in the sun breastfeeding small children whilst listening to lectures about the benefits of doing just that.

Tomorrow, no doubt, I will leave the subject of natural mammaries and their benefits to society and return to politics and policy (and the unnatural mammaries that inhabit this realm and that seem incapable of providing any benefits to society in Ukraine).


Human Trafficking

April 9, 2012

Today I was going to write about why reform in Ukraine is so slow and the bottom-up support that is missing.  That will have to wait until I get around to it.

Currently I am researching serious and organised crime for a document that will be published elsewhere in cyberspace in the months ahead.  Certainly it should be published by the year end.  Needless to say, Ukraine like most nations has issues with serious organised crime and within that broad heading human trafficking falls.

During this research, this very powerful, short and thoughtful Dutch video got my attention.  Whilst it does not go into the methodology, statistics, trafficking routes, reasons and end results, it does make anybody who watches it think twice about what is going on around them.

Watch it to the end – Something to think about!


Prostitution and Euro2012

March 11, 2012

Elsewhere in cyberspace, in the Ukrainian and Russian forums to be exact, a debate is running relating to prostitution and the Euro2012 football tournament to be held here in about 3 months time.

The debate is along the lines of prostitution remaining illegal and thus those traveling foreign fans, some of whom hail from nations where prostitution is legal, regulated and taxed by the State,  falling foul of the local police when indulging in carnal pleasures, or whether it should be legalised for the duration of the tournament in the hosting cities (or at least not pursued by the police for the duration of the tournament) or whether it should be legalised (or decriminalised)  anyway.

Should Ukraine follow the German (and others) route with regulation and tax, or should it keep its own domestic laws as they are?

Should the authorities turn a discrete blind eye during the tournament, particularly in regard to foreign fans and avoid unnecessarily arresting foreigners and the diplomatic issues related to persons detained?

See no evil......

All very tricky when good arguments can be made for all 3 options.  As it happens this is more of a philosophical debate than a real policy debate as there is little noise coming from the RADA relating to the issue at all.  Thus the law is unlikely to change.  That does not mean, of course, the blind eye policy will not be quietly encouraged.

Fortunately I live in a city that is not hosting the tournament so these issues will not affect Odessa unless the law does change.  One suspects that it is only a matter of time before somebody in the EU thinks it is a good idea to recognise prostitution as a profession and regulate and tax it similar to Germany across the entire EU block, but that is something for the future one suspects.

For me, the core issue is not one of prostitution being legal or otherwise.  It will happen regardless.  It is the question of choice of those involved in such activities.  There are some involved, male and female, who do this through absolute free choice.  There are others forced and coerced into it.  The latter to me is completely and utterly unacceptable.  The former as far as I am concerned is fair enough.

There are of course social issues when it comes to known red light districts for those residents who live there and are not involved in such activities but that is a regulatory and enforcement issue which some nations cope with quite well and others fail miserably at.

Now I have to make a full disclosure and say I don’t know any prostitutes who work the streets of Odessa.  I do know a Madame and several escorts who work for her but on no account work the streets or the bars and clubs.  I suppose at $100 per hour to visit a local hotel by appointment, there is no requirement to work for less or to have to hunt out men in bars and clubs at lesser fees and with the overheads of club entry.

To be honest it is not a conversation I have ever had with any of the ladies involved and I should point out rather robustly that as a married man whose wife also knows the Madam and the same escorts I do, then I have never met them in their professional capacity.  In fact the only reason I know them is via my wife and she knows the Madam from her school days.

It is difficult to say the escorts involved are doing it against their will.  They work only 3 or 4 days a week and also work unaccompanied across Europe for several days at a time via the services offered by this business and earning a very respectable Euro 1500 – 2000 per day.

It seems to me to be very different from those poor men and women who are forced into such a profession against their will, which is where my objections I have to such a business lay.

An interesting and quite passionate debate nonetheless on the local forums, with debaters of both sexes on all sides of the discussion.

One wonders how the Ukrainian authorities will deal with this issue when it rears its head in a few months time.


Happy Woman’s Day (and a perception correction)

March 8, 2012

Firstly, and especially for my Ukrainian and Russian female readers, but also for any other female readers, I wish you all a very special Woman’s Day.

I hope you are pampered to within an inch of your lives and placed firmly on  the pedestals your deserve if only for the day.

As many men will be repeatedly and very poorly trying to inform the women in their lives today……

…….and we are probably quite right (for once).

Now, having wished all my female readers a genuinely sincere Woman’s Day greeting, it is time I feel, to set a few perceptions straight.

Woman’s Day is not Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day or a combination of both with a smattering of birthday thrown in.  It has particular relevance in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova and more.

It is the recognition of the body feminine be it your mother, wife, sister, daughter, female boss, female colleagues, female subordinates, female friends, nieces, aunts and any other female who is influential in a mans life.  It is particularly relevant in this part of the world and its recent history.

Over the years I have been writing this blog there have been far too numerous to mention (literally hundreds if not thousands of unpublished) comments from western men asking where they can find a “traditional Russian or Ukrainian wife.”

Having replied out of sheer curiosity what “traditional wife” means, it would appear to have a definition which covers a large and diverse spectrum.  To list a few; good cook, good mother, stay at home, not look at another man, not have male friends, pretty, high heels or jeans looks sexy enough to stop traffic, and above all, recognise the man of the house is the boss etc. – You get the idea.

After years of reading such fantasies, and that is certainly what they are when it comes to Russian and Ukrainian women, I think Woman’s Day is a suitable day to set those perceptions straight.

Firstly, the book Domostroy was written in the 16th century when describing the life and requirements of a Slavic wife and women in Slavic society.  That book and those rules became null and void in Russia and Ukraine by the time the Bolsheviks restructured and re-engineered society, if not quite some time before .

Any remnant, real or imagined, that may have lingered disappeared when 25 million USSR Slavs died in WWII, the majority being male.

Just who do you traditional wife hunters think rebuilt the USSR when a high percentage of the male population was dead?  Who laid miles and miles of rail track by hand, who worked the fields, who drove trucks, who worked in the factories, who, when all is said and done, did almost everything and every job, when so much of the male population was dead for the next generation or two?

Next, most Russian and Ukrainian women are very well educated indeed.  They are probably at least as well educated if not better educated than you are.

The vast majority of Russian and Ukrainian school teachers, doctors and similar professions are female.  They work, they work hard and they work shifts.  They do not sit at home and pop out children at your demand and insulate themselves from friends be they male or female whether you like it or not.

Whilst there may not be genuine equality when it comes to pay and other areas in life, Russian and Ukrainian woman have enjoyed emancipation for a very long time.  Now they are emancipated and well educated.

They are also free to travel and have access to unregulated television and the Internet.  They are fully aware of just how green (or not) the grass is on the other side of the fence.

You will not impress them but waving wads of cash about or owning your own company, being a CEO or having your own small aircraft.  They will happily spend your money and let you take them shopping but that, unless they actually like you, is all you will get.

A traditional Russian or Ukrainian woman comes from a family where babushka rules the roost.  It is a matriarchy and not, contrary to western belief, a patriarchy when it comes to domestic life.  When I say domestic life that also includes when she (or you, or both) are going out, where, why and to do what, or see whom.

If your perception of a “traditional Russian/Ukrainian wife” is to stay at home, look drop dead gorgeous but only for you,  spit out children on demand, wash, cook, clean, bake bread, be happy to sit at home all day, go to church on Sunday,  have you choose her friends for her and say who she can and cannot be friends with, then it is a perception that is more than 500 years out of date, if that reality ever truly existed at all.

Trust me when I say there aren’t that many 500 year old women left knocking about in Russia and Ukraine that will meet those “traditional values”.

In over a decade of living permanently in Moscow and latterly Odessa I have never met a Russian or Ukrainian woman that fits the “traditional wife” mythology of the western male.

Woman’s Day in the former USSR and Warsaw Pact nations is particularly revered for a reason and that reason is that they (and not men) literally built the nations that exist today.  That did not happen by them staying home and darning socks longingly looking out of the window for a time-warped zealot returning home.

I hope this entry manages to register with some male readers who incessantly ask for help finding some western myth propagated by marriage agencies  with the sole purpose of taking your money in search of a “traditional woman” that doesn’t exist.

Now if you want a beautiful, intelligent, practical, hard working, opinionated, determined, emancipated but feminine to her toenails wife, should you be lucky enough to find one interested in you from Russia or Ukraine, then you will be a happy man and you will be loved as you have never been loved before – as long as you don’t try to change her and have her become something she traditionally is not!

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