Anastasia Suslov, a young girl who believes that engaging men and boys in eliminating violence against women and girls is imperative

Anastasia Suslov is a young environmental activist from Balti Municipality, who, together with other local young activists, promotes gender equality as well.


Anastasia Suslov

Anastasia actively participates in training sessions and mentorship programmes to receive more information on topics she is interested in, then disseminating it in her community.

„I am an environmental activist but gender equality and combating violence against women are very important for me as well. I am currently working on ellaborating a podcast covering human rights, which will also target such topics as violence against women, sexism, gender equality”, the activist says.

Her aim is to inform all young people, especially boys. Anastasia notices, after discussing with boys, that they are not informed enough. As a result, they do not notice that their actions are seen as harassment. According to her, one of the reasons is that „such situations are already embedded in our lives and society, and we don’t pay so much attention to them”.

One of the solutions would be to initiate more open discussions, not only in educational environment but also at home, in the society, at youth centers and NGOs.

„I think stereotypes are a difficult topic, and such problems as violence and harassment are stringent ones. I personally observe the phenomenon of harassment at school. Boys don’t know how to flirt with girls or do this in a very aggressive manner, and this is considered as something normal. From my point of view, another problem is consent, a problem, which is not discussed. And this is one of the root causes of sexual violence against women. All these problems are interconnected, starting from early childhood. Schools have a crucial role, as well as NGOs, which can help young people inform themselves so that they can avoid being part of domestic violence, which is very widespread in our country”, Anastasia said.

Anastasia Suslov
At the same time, the activist believes that engaging men and boys is imperative. Initiating discussions with them is very important because in many cases they don’t know how they make unsafe places for women and girls.

„While working on projects I am involved in, I always encourage boys to participate, to speak. Even though we start from easy topics, discussions get more serious, and they start drawing conclusions they have never had before. Some of them say they have never thought that the situation is so complicated, or that they could contribute to making unsafe places for girls, or cause them certain fears.”

At last, Anastasia says that, in addition to participating in different projects, mentorship programmes or other important educational activities, everybody should know their rights and defend the rights of those who suffer from discrimination, such as women.

„Women’s rights are affected more often but, when we talk about gender equality, we should take into consideration that we talk about both men and women. We should know everyone’s rights, and request that everyone is respected”, Anastasia said.