Criticism from Parliament and social media for an idea defined as idiotic and harmful: “These women risk their lives and do not deserve to be laughed at”
High-heeled Ukrainian female soldiers practicing for a military parade: the Kiev Ministry of Defense yesterday released images of women marching perfectly aligned wearing mid-heeled shoes instead of traditional boots and the controversy immediately broke out. The parade in question, reports the Guardian, is that of next month, which will mark the 30th anniversary of the country’s independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
“Today, for the first time, the exercise takes place with high-heeled shoes,” said cadet Ivanna Medvid, according to the information site of the Ministry of Defense, ArmiaInform. “It’s slightly harder than army boots, but we’re trying,” Medvid added. However, the idea did not appeal to several MPs close to former President Petro Poroshenko, who invited the Defense Minister to wear heels at the parade. “It is difficult to imagine a more idiotic and harmful idea,” said Inna Sovsun, of the Golos party, stressing that Ukrainian soldiers – like men – risk their lives and “do not deserve to be laughed at”.
Over 31,000 women serve in the Ukrainian armed forces, of which over 4,000 are officers. The choice of footwear has also sparked a wave of criticism on social media. “The story of a parade in heels is a real shame,” commentator Vitaly Portnikov said on Facebook, arguing that some Ukrainian officials have a “medieval” mentality. Another commentator, Maria Shapranova, accused the Defense Ministry of “sexism and misogyny”: “High heels are a mockery of women imposed by the beauty industry,” she wrote.