“Strong. Courageous. Equal”

International Women’s Day, celebrated on 8 March, is an opportunity to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in their communities.

Every day, women and men working in law-enforcement face challenges head-on. Every day, they face danger, striving to protect and serve people and make Ukrainian cities, towns, villages and communities safer. Through their daily work they challenge and defeat gender stereotypes and dispel myths.

 “Strong. Courageous. Equal” is a photography project, organised jointly by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and the PRAVO Police project, financed by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Ukraine. 

This photography project aims to celebrate these women’s strength, commitment, courage and equality.


Cavalery 4

Yana Khmelyova
Mounted Patrol Police.

Listen to your heart, follow your dream and go forward. Don’t be afraid to challenge stereotypes and never, ever listen to people who discourage you from following your dream. I wanted to work in law-enforcement since I was a kid.


Kinolog 3

Kateryna Sabodash
K9 handler, State Border Guard Service

We change and the world around us changes. First, make up your mind and decide what you want to do in life. Don’t be afraid to try new things. People will always have something to say about you, whether good or bad. Make your own decisions. Your own decisions can change everything.


Criminalist 3

Anastasia Shmarko
Forensics Expert, National Police Investigation Department

If you know this is your calling, don’t be afraid, and don’t listen to the ones who tell you that the only woman’s job is cooking and taking care of children. Do what you truly like and choose a profession you really want.



Oksana Mushchynska
Patrol Police Tactical Unit (TOR)

If you’re in two minds whether this is a job for you, just ask yourself and you will know the truth. If you can give an honest answer to this question, leave your fears behind and pursue your dream.


Kordon 2

Anastasiia Hurkivska
State Border Guard Service

Gender stereotypes are a thing of the past. We work together as equals and we can do everything men do.


Kord 3

Call sign “Kosa” (real name and identity cannot be revealed for security reasons
Special Weapons and Tactics Unit (SWAT-KORD)

At first, my relatives tried to dissuade me, saying it was not “a woman’s job”. Then, they realised it’s useless to argue with me because I made a conscious choice and I love what I do. Doing what you love in life is a premise for happiness.


Firefighter 2

Nastia Klochko

Through my example, I have proved that women can perform professional tasks on an equal footing. We are not “the weaker sex”. We are strong