Ukraine: MPs perform women's rights play in parliament

Mps perform the play 'Seven' on the floor of the country's parliament Image copyright Rada TV
Image caption The performance was aired on Rada TV, the parliament's television channel

Ukrainian MPs have marked the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by performing a play on the floor of parliament.

MPs read out the documentary drama Seven, with musical accompaniment, in place of the chamber's usual recess, the Vysokyy Zamok newspaper reports. Five parliamentarians, male and female, were joined by Crimean-Tatar rights activist Tamyla Tasheva and leading actress Nataliya Sumska for the reading. Seven features the testimony of women's rights campaigners from around the world.

"I was advised to leave Afghanistan for the sake of my children's safety," read MP Iryna Podolyak, playing the part of peace activist Farida Aziziz, who received asylum in the US after threats were made to her life. The performance was broadcast live on parliament's TV channel, and widely publicised in the Ukrainian media.

Speaker Volodymyr Hroysman introduced the performance by saying: "these 30 minutes of your time and attention will show how the Ukrainian parliament condemns any sort of violence against women." The play has particular resonance in Ukraine because of an incident earlier this month in which a male MP allegedly assaulted a female colleague, Ukrayinska Pravda website recalls. This led to a protest on the floor of parliament led by former Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko.

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