Ukrainian authorities have courted controversy as official photos show female soldiers from the Ukrainian army marching in black high heels, as they practice for a parade. Next month, Ukraine celebrates its thirtieth year of independence after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
On Friday, the defense ministry released photos that showed women wearing fatigues and mid heel black pumps. In the defense ministry’s website, a cadet Ivanna Medvid said that on Thursday, for the first time, training took place in heeled shoes and that it was harder than training in army boots, but they were “trying.”
Several lawmakers close to former president Petro Poroshenko carried heeled shoes to parliament to motivate the defense minister to wear a pair of high heels to the parade.
Several lawmakers commented on the stupidity and misogyny of the decision. Social media also erupted with criticism.
Inna Sovsum, a member of the Golos party. rightly said that it was hard to imagine a more, idiotic, and stupid idea. She added that Ukraine’s women soldiers were risking their lives and did not deserve to be mocked.
Olena Kondratyuk, deputy speaker of the legislature, said that the concerned authorities should publicly apologize for their behavior which humiliated women. She said that there should be an inquiry into the matter.
Ukraine has been fighting its own civil war in the industrial east against separatists who are backed by Russia. This conflict which started in 2014 has killed more than 13,000 people. There are more than 31,000 women who serve in the Ukrainian armed forces. More than 4,000 of these women are officers.
Vitaly Portnikov posted on Facebook that the story of a parade in heels was a disgrace and said that some Ukrainian officials had a “medieval” mindset while Maria Shapranova said that the defense ministry exhibited misogynistic and sexist behavior calling high heels a mockery of women imposed by the beauty industry.
There has been no official comment or apology as yet by the defense ministry.