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Global Challenges funding for Margarita Vaysman

22 September 2020

Margarita Vaysman has been awarded £21,735.00 from the Scottish Funding Council’s Global Challenges Research Fund for her project ‘Recovering Ukrainian Women’s History to Promote Gender Equality and Build Capacity for Preservation of Marginalised Cultural Heritage’.

Studies show that lack of representation, and of historical record of women in positions of power in public discourse and educational curricula, is a major barrier to achieving gender equality in Ukraine (Ukrainian Women’s Fund, CWS, Nepochatova, 2019). Although discussions of the changing roles of women in society have been kickstarted by charities, media and NGOs, historical gender norms still have significant impact on people’s lives. Some of these norms inform everyday behaviors, and some inform policy and legislation: the Istanbul Convention is still not ratified in Ukraine since 'Parliament is afraid of provoking public outrage from far-right community associations and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church' (Dovgopol, 2019).  Developed in collaboration with Ukrainian partners, the project has two aims: firstly, to bring together women’s history educators (primarily school teachers and librarians) and those with historical, project-management and curatorial expertise in Ukraine and Scotland. And, secondly, to create inclusive, accessible, and empowering public discourse in which Ukrainian women’s history is presented.

This interdisciplinary, collaborative project will establish an international network of researchers, educators and cultural practitioners, who are engaged in recovering Ukrainian women’s history and use their findings to promote gender equality and preserve marginalised cultural heritage (material history of women’s achievements). The project will draw on cutting edge research expertise of the principal investigator and the co-investigator to address gender inequality and promote economic development and well-being of ODA participants and collaborators in Ukraine.

  The project has 4 strands: 

  1. Two one-month Visiting Fellowships for Ukrainian scholars and cultural practitioners to St Andrews, jointly hosted by CRSCEES and StAIGS, in April 2021 for Dr Tamara Zlobina and Anna Dovgopol.  
  2. Ukraine-UK Knowledge Exchange Network, coordinating three online network seminars. 
  3. Online database and reference volume ‘Pioneering Women in Ukraine’.  
  4. Capacity Building Workshop in Kyiv in June 2021, bringing together scholars, educators and cultural practitioners.