In the Ukrainian language, as well as in other languages, words of foreign origin have always been used. Some of them have organically taken a place in the lexicon, some remain “alien” and cause resistance in a large number of people.
One of these words is the word “gender”, which came to us from English and means a category that reflects social sex, social roles – roles that a person performs in society depending on whether he was born as a boy or a girl. The process of raising men and women from boys and girls is called the process of gender construction. This process exists in any society, but it occurs differently in different countries and among different peoples, in different historical periods, and it is influenced by a very large number of different factors: age, class, race, ethnic and religious affiliation, geographical, economic, cultural and political environment.
Can such a topic as gender be interesting to an average citizen, to an ordinary person who was born, raised, brought up and educated in an ordinary family in a state that gained independence only 31 years ago? Is it useful, and what exactly is useful to understand this topic for a specific person, regardless of age, nationality, religious views, citizenship, and other characteristics?
Experts and experts on gender equality are doing their best to disseminate gender knowledge and best practices and describe this process as “wearing gender glasses”.
This is exactly the task: to help a person put on such glasses – to see, to feel for himself/herself how the process of gender construction takes place in society – the process of raising women and men from girls and boys, to get interested in this topic, to draw attention to it, and also to record, preserve the invisible and the first interactive gender museum in Ukraine – the Museum of Women’s and Gender History (Gendermuseum), which was born in Kharkiv in 2008 as a public initiative, puts unknown “women’s” history into its activities.
The collection of the Gendermuseum includes more than 4,000 of the most diverse exhibits, collected in Ukraine and transferred from different countries of the world, which provide an opportunity to:
- learn about the lives of women in different historical times;
- immerse yourself in the recreated conditions of life in occupied Kharkiv;
- participate in discussions and interactive exercises;
- touch the exhibits and take a picture with any of them;
- get information about gender transformations in the world;
- familiarize yourself with the activities of international women’s and feminist initiatives and the International Association of Women’s Museums (IAWM);
- familiarize yourself with Ukrainian legislation and international obligations of Ukraine in the field of ensuring equal rights and opportunities for women and men, as well as with gender terminology;
- learn about the best global gender practices
and find answers to the following questions:
- What is gender and why should we know about it?
- What are gender stereotypes and how do they inhibit personality development?
- What are the gender problems, and do they need to be solved?
- What are the unknown women’s pages of history, and should they be restored?
- Who are feminists and what do they strive for?
- What is the “glass ceiling” and what role does it play in the lives of the majority of the population of Ukraine?
- How are men discriminated against in society?
- What is sexism and how dangerous is it for society?
- What instruments of torture has humanity created for women?
So, we invite you to an interesting and unforgettable excursion to the Gendermuseum!