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Kiev: People around the world are appalled and furious after authorities in Ukraine released official pictures showing female soldiers marching in heels instead of the usual army boots. According to an AFP report, Ukraine is preparing to stage a military parade next month to mark 30 years of independence following the Soviet Union’s breakup.

As soldiers practice for the parade, the defence ministry released photographs of women soldiers marching in mid-heel black pumps. In the pictures, the soldiers are seen marching in heels while under the close supervision of a commanding officer.

“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.”

 

Soon after the pictures went viral, people across the world and on social media, slammed the Ukrainian authorities for sexualising the female troops. Calling the move ‘sexist and misogynist’, many users mocked the idea and blamed the defence ministry for ignoring the health risks the women are being exposed to by being made to march in hee

“It is hard to imagine a more idiotic, harmful idea,” said Inna Sovsun, a member of the Golos party, pointing to health risks. She added that Ukraine’s women soldiers, like men, were risking their lives and “do not deserve to be mocked”.

Here are some reactions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ukraine’s defense minister is now under pressure from members of the government over the decision to have female military cadets wear pumps with heels in an important parade.

“The purpose of any military parade is to demonstrate the military ability of the army. There should be no room for stereotypes and sexism,” said a joint statement from three Cabinet members, including Minister of Veterans Affairs Yulia Laputina.

More than 31,000 women now serve in the Ukrainian armed forces, including more than 4,000 of whom are officers.


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