The Ukrainian Department of Defense has taken the rage of many Ukrainians after female soldiers have had to run a high-heeled parade exercise. On social media and some politicians, the plan is criticized and the Minister of Defense is accused of sexism. That‘s how Inna Sovsun of the liberal opposition party Golos calls it “a stupid idea” that embodies the “stereotypes of women as a beautiful doll”.
As a protest, some parliamentarians took heels to the Ukrainian parliament and challenged the minister to wear the shoes during the parade. “It’s hard to come up with a more idiotic and harmful idea,” Sovsun said. She emphasizes that female soldiers – just like men – are risking their lives. “They don‘t deserve to be humiliated.”
The Vice-President of Parliament wants to apologize for “insulting” women. Another parliamentarian points out that more than 13,500 women have fought in the conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.
The soldiers themselves acknowledge that the footwear is not very practical. “Today we are training heels for the first time ever. It’s a bit harder than the boots, but we‘re doing our best,” the ministry’s website quoted one of the cadets.
The soldiers practiced for a big parade on August 24, when Ukrainian independence is celebrated.