Increased support for Ukrainian heritage defenders mobilised with 2023 #Women4Heritage event

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2023, Europa Nostra hosted the third edition of its annual #Women4Heritage online event, bringing together over 60 participants in ‘Solidarity with Ukraine’. The webinar featured testimonials from several Ukrainian heritage stakeholders and counted with the participation of Kateryna Chuyeva, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

 

The event aimed to showcase how we can better support our fellows in Ukraine and reinforce our sense of sorority and solidarity. The discussion was moderated by Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra.

In her special address, Kateryna Chuyeva, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, stressed the need for improvement and increased collaboration: “Together we can do fantastic things. It’s time to establish better conditions for women in heritage and beyond and make the world a better place.”

Natalia Moussienko, Europa Nostra Council member and Board member of the Initiative for St. Andrew Passage, addressed the audience from Kyiv, with an illustrative presentation displaying artwork featuring women in Ukraine. It was a true reflection of the current morale of the people and a tribute to those who courageously defend and preserve the endangered cultural heritage across the country.

Additional support for Ukraine

During the event, participants were delighted to learn first hand that ALIPH Foundation – International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas – will will renew its commitment to the Heritage Solidarity Fellowship for Ukraine with an additional 50,000 euros, as announced by Maja Kominko, Scientific and Programs Director of ALIPH in her speech.

The fellowship was launched in May 2022 by Europa Nostra and Global Heritage Fund, in partnership with ALIPH and with the collaboration of the Heritage Emergency Response Initiative (HERI). The scheme has provided much-needed support to heritage professionals in Ukraine who are currently facing hardship. To date, over 150 Ukrainian heritage defenders have received financial support. The crowdfunding campaign is still ongoing. All donations, however big or small, are welcome and important, and can easily be made via the Europa Nostra website.

Androulla Vassiliou, Vice-President of Europa Nostra and Former European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, also took part in the event. In a moving speech, she recalled how far we have come and recognised the relentless efforts of previous female generations to give women the rights they enjoy today. Yet there is still a long way to go. According to the United Nations, at the current rate it will take 257 years to close the global gender pay gap. “We are not at the end of the road. We must strengthen our joint effort to succeed”, stated Vassiliou.

Other speakers who made a special dedicated contribution to the discussion include Lesia Voroniuk, Head of the World Vyshyvanka Day NGO, which in 2022 won both an European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award and the Public Choice Award; Katarzyna Jagodzińska, Head of the Europa Nostra Heritage Hub for Central and Eastern Europe in Krakow; and Nada Hosking, former Executive Director of Global Heritage Fund (GHF).

The event closed with an engaging tour de table, extending the discussion to the other fabulous female heritage enthusiasts, practitioners and innovators who had carefully followed the debate.

More on the #Women4Heritage Network

The event was held under the #Women4Heritage Network, launched by Europa Nostra in 2021. With over 200 female members, the network aims to bring together female heritage professionals and volunteers in an exchange of information, ideas and opportunities, as well as to foster new partnerships, inspire other women and have a more powerful collective voice, thus also boosting the innovation within the sector.

To effectively establish a well-connected community, Europa Nostra launched a dedicated LinkedIn group, which all female heritage professionals and enthusiasts are welcome to join.

The network and its activities are supported by the EU Creative Europe programme through Europa Nostra’s network project European Cultural Heritage Agora “Empowering Europe’s Civil Society for Heritage” (2022-2024).

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