What is the most popular drink in Ukraine now? Right, Molotov’s cocktail. Other trends of the last season are colorful helmets, faces covered with scarfs and blue-yellow stripes. What is out of trend? Freedom of information.
2013 World Press Freedom Index, published by Reporters Without Borders, says that Ukraine reached the lowest levels of media independency for the last years. It says: “Just as it assumed the rotating chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Ukraine (126, -10) set the worst record for the media since the Orange Revolution in 2004. The chronically high level of violence towards journalists hit a new peak, while impunity remained total. Such an unhealthy atmosphere served only to increase the vulnerability of independent news outlets to over-stronger pressure.”
By different data, about 140 journalists suffered in mass protests that take place now in Ukraine. Media Law Institute on its website says about the journalists are being purposefully persecuted in Ukraine: “During the mass protests, which have been taking place in Ukraine for the third month, tremendously many journalists suffered from the actions of enforcement authority and unidentified people… Some officials make statements and claim that the journalists being at the epicenter of protests and put themselves under bullets and grenades, therefore, so often become the victims. However, in view of all the circumstances, we argue the opposite - such a great number of injured journalists is the result of conscious and purposeful actions of the authorities against journalists and all the people holding photo or video cameras and recording the events. Journalists play an important role in the confrontation. They convey information from the epicenter of events to viewers, listeners and readers. Thanks to these photo and video evidence the public learned about hundreds of cases of human rights violation. Journalists fix illegal actions of the authorities and for that journalists got beaten, arrested and even imprisoned.”
It becomes a real risk and danger to be a reporter and write about protests in Ukraine. It becomes even a bigger risk if you are a woman. At least two women journalists whom I know received threats from unknown people demanding they quit supporting opposition. And what they did? Have hidden? No, they spread their statements throughout social media and applied to Euromaidan SOS Initiatory Group. It is self-organized group of human rights defenders, civil society activists, lawyers, and journalists created to protect protesters.
In general, lots of women participate in the protest. A famous German broadcasting and Internet website Deutsche Welle published a beautiful article about the role of the women at Kyiv’s Independent square. Answering on journalist’s question one of these women said: “We came here so that our children can live in a peaceful European state.” And explaining why they don’t move when the fights begin they say: “If we're afraid now, we'll be afraid our entire lives.”
For a woman, the care of relatives, peace and tranquility will always take the first place. It is women who call to stop the riots, humiliation and beatings. In the East, there is a tradition, when a woman throws a shawl on the ground, the war must end. I really believe that Ukrainian women have enough of courage and patience to contribute to the peaceful resolution of the conflict.