SHE is SCIENCE keeps on spreading the image of a female scientist among the Ukrainian public. This educational art project discloses the stories of 12 female scientists who made a remarkable contribution to the world of science and its development. The project’s initiator, Sergey Tokarev, shared what stage SHE is SCIENCE is at now, its plans and how it is promoting gender equality in science.
Background of SHE is SCIENCE
Being committed to high-tech development and promotion in the country, Sergey Tokarev has been running the social project called STEM is FEM which aims to promote the technical education of Ukrainian schoolgirls. When the businessman confronted existing gender injustice in the scientific field, he acknowledged that it was not enough to improve gender equality in science. As a response, SHE is SCIENCE appeared to prove that female scientists also have potential and a significant impact on science development in Ukraine and abroad.
Considering the modern world’s challenges and demanding ways to win it, the organizers of the educational art project decided to create a spectacular portraits collection of 12 Ukrainian heroines. They found it best to reach the public audience. To accomplish this creative part of the SHE is SCIENCE project, the best illustrators took part: Olga Degtyareva, Anna Ivanenko, Sergiy Maidukov, Jenya Polosina, and Anna Sarvira. Thus, the authors could reflect the appearance of female scientists, their character, as well as the area of their activity.
Sergey Tokarev added that to engage more young people, they conducted an essay competition on the basis of visual paintings among girls aged 14 to 21 to define the best essay of the project. As a result, they received 561 unique works, and only 12 of them became an essential part of the exhibition.
The official opening of the exhibition was organized in Kyiv on June 10. Some foreign representatives attended the event: diplomats from Belgium, France, and the United States, representatives of UN Women, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and NATO, as well as the First Lady of the country Olena Zelenska. Another specific feature of the project was the charity auction where the paintings were presented. More than $43,000 were gathered and approached to the prize fund for winners of the best 12 essays.
Another step of the educational art project was an exhibition tour of the portraits collection around Ukraine. Zaporizhzhia, Mariupol, and Kryvyi Rih were the first cities visited. Accordingly, SHE is SCIENCE was presented as part of STEAM-CAMP, the leadership educational program for teachers. Also, the Vinnytsia region, Kozyatyn, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine hosted the exhibition. In the nearest future, the project organizers hope to present the project in all major cities of Ukraine, taking a start with Chernivtsi, Poltava, and Khmelnytskyi. According to Sergey Tokarev, they have already sent out 109 copies to schools, universities, libraries, and other institutions. Overall, they plan to distribute 300 copies, and they provide them for free to everyone willing to hold an exposition in their own city or village.
The exhibition curators are willing to move far forward and enter the international arena soon. They are already providing negotiation with Ukrainian embassies in Europe and other parts of the world. Sergey Tokarev notes that the essence of the country’s image is to contribute to the development of world science. And Ukraine has a lot to show and is proud of its outstanding female scientists whose contribution will be known worldwide soon.
Currently, the exhibition is available to visit in the UNIT.City innovation park in Kyiv.