“I ignore gender stereotypes because I am convinced that everyone has the right to choose and is not obliged to prove the correctness of the chosen path to anyone,” – Violetta Rec

HeForShe University Tour presents articles written by students about the issues and opportunities they see when it comes to achieving gender equality.

Violetta Rec is the Chairperson of the Student Cadet Council at Dnipro State University of Internal Affairs in Ukraine. Today, more than half the world’s population is under 30 years of age. Students and youth are the new generation of leaders and changemakers, and it is critically important to understand their priorities as we shape the gender equality movement to change the world. Created by UN Women, the HeForShe solidarity movement in Ukraine has launched the HeForShe University Tour. This is a chance to listen and learn from students about the issues and opportunities they see when it comes to achieving gender equality.

 

Gender equality affects everyone, and the Defense and Security Sector is no exception. It should be understood that a large number of women work and serve in this field today. 

I entered Dnipropetrovsk State University of Internal Affairs in 2017. And although even then the problems of gender equality were quite actively raised at various levels, I still had some doubts about joining. First of all, I was worried that I would not be able to meet the physical requirements, that some guy would be taken instead of me because I did 29 push-ups, not 30. 

Today I am a 4th-year cadet and I have a lot of achievements, medals, honorary awards in the fields of science, social activities, sports and, of course, education. It should be noted that studying for a National Police Investigator is not easy, but every girl should know that it is possible for her as well. I can say it from my experience. 

Several times I have encountered gender stereotypes during my practice in the unit, where it is often said that the profession of the investigator is not a woman's business. Daily shifts, a large amount of work, the need to make quick decisions and take responsibility are components of this profession, and a woman, according to many, is not capable of this. Usually, I ignore such accusations because I am convinced that everyone has the right to choose and is not obliged to prove the correctness of the chosen path to anyone. Gender stereotypes are actively discussed within the walls of our university: we hold panel discussions on stereotyping in professional activities and plan to create a youth center on this topic. 

I believe that there is nothing in the security forces, particularly in the National Police of Ukraine, that a woman could not cope with. Myths about women's uselessness in this field are just myths. 

UN entities involved in this initiative
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women