Gender Issues in Nuclear Security Discussed in Kyiv

On 15 and 16 October, conference “Support of Nuclear Security Education and Promotion of Gender Awareness in Ukraine” was held in Kyiv. The event was organized by the National Technical University “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”, Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine and Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) within the Swedish and Ukrainian cooperation in the area of nuclear security education.

Unfortunately, today in Ukraine there is a situation where most girls, when leaving school, are influenced by stereotypes, they say, a number of specialties are purely “masculine” and women should not try to succeed in them. First, we are talking about strategic areas: safety, energy, etc. but these stereotypes according to international practice are in most cases false and very often women are able to perform their professional duties in traditionally “masculine” areas not worse than men do.

Representatives of a number of leading domestic and foreign agencies, organizations and higher education institutions were among conference participants. During the event, participants discussed a number of both purely technical and gender issues.

The first day of the conference was devoted to the issues of non-proliferation of nuclear materials and technologies, as well as to nuclear security aspects. The topics of nuclear weapons and their tests, nuclear disarmament and the Non-Proliferation Treaty were presented by Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress from the James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies, Thomas Yonter from the Stockholm University, Polina Sinovets from the Odessa National University, and other. Stig Isacsson of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, Rhonda Evans of the World Institute for Nuclear Security and representative of the Lithuanian Nuclear Regulator Jurgita Jarmalaviciute have dedicated their reports to the issues of nuclear security and responsibilities of states. The report of Natalia Kloss from the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine focused on Ukrainian Government experience in nuclear security was interesting and meaningful.

The main topic of the second day was promoting gender awareness in Ukraine “Women at the Nuclear Forum”. Participants working in nuclear area had the opportunity to discuss a number of issues related to women realization in the government sector, nuclear industry, during the work in national regulatory authorities, national laboratories, universities, research institutions and specialized international organizations.

The conference was completed with a visit to the Chornobyl NPP, where all the conference participants had the opportunity to communicate with their colleagues who work directly at the Chornobyl NPP, including women. Editorial Board