Olena Shevchenko

Olena Shevchenko


Olena Shevchenko is a human rights defender and educator from Ukraine whose focuses are LGBT rights and women’s rights. She is chairperson of Insight, a public organization she and two of her friends founded and officially registered in 2008. Insight is unique among other LGBTQI organizations because of its inclusiveness and feminist approach. Before founding Insight, Olena volunteered for 3 years in a feminist-lesbian organization and was a senior teacher for 4 years at the National Pedagological University in Kiev. Today Insight, under her leadership, has become a visible and significant player for advocacy both nationally and internationally.

In 2018 Olena fiunded a civic initiative “Womens march”, which brings together womens rights organizations and individuals, working on womens rights in Ukraine. More than 5000 people take part in 8 of march public assembly in Kyiv.

In 2012 Olena was elected as a Co-chair of LGBT Council of Ukraine – a new all-Ukrainian umbrella association, where she is also the head of the advocacy and PR committees. In 2010 Olena was elected as a Board member of IGLYO (International LGBT youth organization) for a one-year term. This experience brings an international integration and globalization perspectives in to her local work. She has edited two research papers on the situation of LGBT families in Ukraine and the situation with Transgender rights. In 2014 became an author of the book “ABC on LGBT rights”. In 2016 Olena was elected as a Board member of ILGA-Europe and in 2017 became one of initiators of creation of ELC* (European lesbian conference). In 2019 was elected a Co-Chair of ELC*.

In 2020 Olena was elected as Board member of ILGA-World.

Among hobbies are sport: freestyle wrestling and jogging, likes travelling, techno music and techno festivals.

Dyke march : Supported by Budapest Pride

Dyke March Route

We are out, we are loud, we are visible! As part of the @European Lesbian* Conference from 29 Sept – 1 Oct, our Dyke March will take place. Lesbians are not sufficiently represented in society, nor in the LGBTQI+ community – we want to change that! *Everyone is welcome to support* ✦ Bring your whistles, […]



CEU Nador 15

Welcome from EL*C team,European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli, Olena Shevchenko, Anita Kurimay

ELC #3 Conference

Lesbians and War

Room Olha Kobylianska

In this session, we hear from Ukrainian lesbians on the ground fleeing war as they share their experience of coordinating a shelter for LGBT community and the experience of working with the community in war conditions. We hear from organizers and volunteers as they take us through the challenges the face and they solutions they […]


Panel : Lesbian resistance in times of crisis : Ukraine

CEU Nador 15

Lesbians are at all times developing strategies to exist within societal norms and models that are in their nature oppressive and exclusionary of our communities. As lesbians and as feminists, in times of war – inherently patriarchal and unfeminist, we find ourselves trapped by borders and conflicts that are not ours. In this system dominated […]


Who is afraid of the big bad dykes? Lesbians and the anti-gender movement

Lesia Room, 2nd floor

Public Round table “Anti-gender movements, nationalist and conservative attack on the rights of women and minorities: Ukrainian realities and international experience” During the round table we will talk about the challenges faced by LGBTQI and women’s movement in Ukraine, the conservative discourse, the nationalist and religious components in it. Why is gender equality in Ukraine […]


ILGA Europe lesbian organising, looking at learning and existing good practices in Europe


Lesbian* Main Room, 3rd Floor

During this panel we will try to talk about different forms of lesbian activism from theory to practice, street and radical activism to academic research and analyses. Who are those lesbian activists? What other identities do we have and how it influences on our agenda. Moderator: Olena Shevchenko Speakers: Vera Curtic, Patricia Purtschert

Lesbians* ACT