News / Europe

Ukraine Feminists Campaign Against Sex Tourism

Ukraine Feminists Campaign Against Sex Tourismi
|| 0:00:00
X
James Brooke
November 06, 2012 9:32 PM
Ukraine’s Femen group is pushing its topless protest tactics around the world. Back home, the group is campaigning against sex tourism. VOA's James Brooke reports from Kyiv about what drives Ukraine’s most famous political export.

Ukraine Feminists Campaign Against Sex Tourism

James Brooke
At first, protests by Ukrainian feminist group Femen were ignored by the media.  But two years ago the women started taking off their shirts.  In recent months, their tactic has spread to France, Canada, and Brazil.

Back home, in a basement office in downtown Kyiv, Oleksandra Shevchenko, a Femen founder, rebuts critics who say Femen protesters attract media attention for the wrong reasons.

“When we mixed nakedness, intelligence and our ideas, we saw that it is working,” she says.  “People saw this contradiction, they are not ready to see, and to listen to women, and to see aggressive women, naked, aggressive women.”

Coming from Eastern Europe, Ukraine’s Femen and Russia’s Pussy Riot band represent a new kind of feminist protest, theatrical and radical.  In Kyiv, activists train regularly for protests.  Behind the training is anger that Eastern European women are 30 years behind Western European women, in salaries and in job discrimination by employers.

“They say, 'You will get married in a few years, or even like, in a few months you will be pregnant, like you are not a good worker, I don’t want to have you in my office,” Shevchenko says. “Or, like the second way to work there, they say that you have to sleep with me, we have to have sex.  And we can do nothing.”

In June, Femen protested Ukraine's co-hosting of the European football (soccer) championships.  They argued some fans would also visit Ukrainian brothels and strip clubs.

Shevchenko says, “We have a lot of sex tourists here in Ukraine.  Because nobody cares about that, nobody wants to stop this problem.”

The sex industry thrives in Ukraine, a country where women score high in beauty and low in income.

“It is really easy to become a prostitute in Ukraine, even for me, or for other girls,” notes Shevchenko.  “You just need to make this one step to become a prostitute.  I have a lot of invitations from a lot of brothels, from different strip clubs.”

Oksana Shachko, a veteran Femen activist, goes a step further, attacking Internet international dating sites, sometimes called mail-order bride sites.

“There are many websites that advertise Ukrainian women, because Ukraine girls are beautiful.  But, unfortunately, many are undereducated and want to become a wife of a rich man, their knight on a white horse,” she says.  “But in actuality, it is only like exporting human flesh, and it is illegal.  We are trying to explain to these girls that it is not a real way to a good life. “

Shevchenko, 24, has to juggle her feminism with the traditional expectations of her mother and grandmother.

“They imagine for me another life,” says Shevchenko, who grew up in a mid-sized city in Western Ukraine.  “They wanted to see me as a wife and a mother.  And each single day when my mom calls me she says, 'When I will have my grandchildren, did you find a man?'  And I do not know what to answer her.”

But Shevchenko believes she can have it all.  A few weeks ago, she helped to open Femen’s new office in Paris.  She says she met several interesting Frenchmen, men she calls ‘male feminists.’

You May Like

British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign Jihadists More

Audio Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Guest from: USA
November 06, 2012 1:59 PM
" But, unfortunately, many are undereducated and want to become a wife of a rich man, their knight on a white horse,” she says. “But in actuality, it is only like exporting human flesh, and it is illegal. We are trying to explain to these girls that it is not a real way to a good life. “

Yes but it's an easy life and one which is far more profitable than earning money like most men must. It's also a personal choice which feminist gender-bigot goons will never really be able to prohibit. Besides the real intent here by socially correct women to corner the market so that they can sell sex wholesale through the institution of feminist-subjugated, reproductive, marriage and family law.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid