Monday, December 5, 2022

Ukraine bans gender stereotyping, sexism in job listings, advertising

by Dylan CarterJanuary 9, 2022 3:53 pm
On Jan. 8, amendments to Ukraine's law on advertising came into force, which will fine companies for discriminatory advertising and hiring practices. (Anna Bizon/freepik)

On Jan. 8, new amendments to Ukraine’s advertising laws came into force, targeting discriminatory hiring practices and advertising.

It will now be forbidden to display sexist imagery or themes in adverts, as well as overtly sexual imagery.

This includes objectifying bodies to attract customers, promoting the notion of gender superiority, displaying derogatory stereotypes about gender roles, showing gender-based violence, and unnecessarily using sexual imagery, text, or sounds to promote a product.  

The new laws will punish offenders with fines of up to $2,375 (Hr 65,000).

Ukrainian businesses have been frequently criticized for their openly sexist or hypersexualized advertising. 
Many major Ukrainian companies have previously used openly sexist imagery to promote their businesses. Ukrainian electronics store Citrus, construction material retailer Epicenter, and DIY store Angio have all previously used overtly sexist or sexual images to attract clients.
Epicenter has been accused of sexualizing female bodies in their adverts.

Some companies have begun to remove sexist advertising in response to changing attitudes. Following complaints from the Industrial Gender Committee, Angio took down adverts featuring sexualised depictions of female builders.

The new amendment also prohibits discrimination in job listings. Employers can no longer openly discriminate on the grounds of gender, age, or race when advertising a candidacy.

The law would prohibit vacancy descriptions from seeking to hire men of a certain age, “good looking” women, or exclusively single candidates. In December, Ukrainian job listing site stated that it would begin automatically removing job listings that featured discriminatory descriptions. 

The only exception to the law will be in positions where the use of female labor is legally prohibited. In Ukraine, women are prohibited from some types of dangerous manual labor, such as underground mining or lifting heavy loads.

Dylan Carter
Dylan Carter
Business reporter

Dylan Carter is a staff writer at the Kyiv Independent. He studied modern languages at the University College of London and Paris Sorbonne IV. He worked as an assistant lecturer at the Kyiv School of Economics and at Ukrinform before joining the Kyiv Post in June 2021.

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