Ukrainian female soldiers made to march in heels
Official photographs of female troops practising for a parade in heels have sparked outrage in Ukraine.
Ukraine is planning a military parade next month to commemorate 30 years since the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the defence ministry posted photos of fatigue-clad women troops marching in mid-heel black pumps on Friday, reports The Guardian.
“Today, for the first time, training takes place in heeled shoes,” cadet Ivanna Medvid was quoted as saying by the defence ministry’s information site ArmiaInform.
“It is slightly harder than in army boots but we are trying,” Medvid added in comments released on Thursday.
With over 31,000 women serving in the Ukrainian armed forces, and nearly 13,500 women who had fought in the current conflict, such mockery of female soldiers is deplorable.
“It is hard to imagine a more idiotic, harmful idea,” said Inna Sovsun, a member of the Golos party, pointing to health risks.
She also said that Ukraine’s women soldiers like men were risking their lives and “do not deserve to be mocked”.
Olena Kondratyuk, deputy speaker of the legislature said authorities should publicly apologise for “humiliating” women and conduct an enquiry.
The choice of footwear stirred controversy on social media and in parliament, prompting accusations of sexualization of female soldiers.
“The story of a parade in heels is a real disgrace,” commentator Vitaly Portnikov said on Facebook, arguing that some Ukrainian officials had a “medieval” mindset.
Another commentator, Maria Shapranova, accused the defence ministry of “sexism and misogyny.”
“High heels is a mockery of women imposed by the beauty industry,” she wrote.