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Tags: Ukraine | ukrainian army | soldiers | high heels

Ukrainian Army Responds to Criticism for Making Female Soldiers March in High Heels

Ukrainian Army Responds to Criticism for Making Female Soldiers March in High Heels
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 06 July 2021 11:49 AM

Ukraine's Ministry of Defense is defending itself against the backlash that has arisen after it announced it would be training female soldiers to march in high heels. 

The defense ministry sparked outrage among lawmakers after announcing that women from the Ukrainian armed forces would be marching in the footwear in a parade to mark the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union on Aug. 24. The female military cadets have been training to master a new march in the shoes twice a day, for a total of four hours, although this may increase closer to the parade. 

The defense ministry first responded to the criticism by releasing a series of photos of female soldiers from other armies also wearing high heels, as viewed by CNN. Olga Stefanishina, vice prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine who signed a statement protesting the decision, acknowledged that there are armies of some NATO member countries that do issue high heels to women as part of their uniform, however, these shoes are not worn while marching in parades. 

In a second response, Ukraine's Ministry of Defense later said it will issue "new, improved footwear" for its female soldiers. Deputies are currently looking into new footwear that will be "ergonomic and made in the shortest possible time," Defense minister Taran added.

This comes after three Cabinet members, including Minister of Veterans Affairs Yulia Laputina, slammed the defense ministry for its initial decision. 

"The purpose of any military parade is to demonstrate the military ability of the army. There should be no room for stereotypes and sexism," a joint statement read.

"Shoes with heels are incompatible with the combat capability of soldiers, and a 'Prussian' step on a parade in such shoes is a deliberate harm to the health of soldiers," the statement further read.

Speaking with Army Inform, the defense ministry's official news agency, Ivanna Medvid, a cadet at the Military Institute of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev, said she had been training hard to learn to march in the high heels but was excited to participate in the parade.

"It's a little harder than in berets, but we try. I will take part in the parade for the first time. I really wanted that. When I was still in school, I liked to watch parades," she said. "At training, I try very hard not to let down neither our officers nor our "box." My parents were delighted to learn that I would take part in the parade. They promised that they would definitely come to Khreshchatyk to support me."

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TheWire
Ukraine's Ministry of Defense is defending itself against the backlash that has arisen after it announced it would be training female soldiers to march in high heels. The defense ministry sparked outrage...
ukrainian army, soldiers, high heels
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2021-49-06
Tuesday, 06 July 2021 11:49 AM
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