Official pictures have been released showing female Ukrainian soldiers practicing for a parade wearing heels instead of the usual army boots which many would expect.
The move has left people outraged with the mid-heel black footwear which were being worn during the parade which is in preparation for an official ceremony on 24 August to mark 30 years of independence.
Irina Gerashchenko, an opposition member of parliament, said it was sexism, not equality. But the defence ministry has hit back at those complaining and said that the shoes are part of the regulation-dress uniform.
According to reports, cadet Ivanna Medvid said: "Today, for the first time, training takes place in heeled shoes," before adding: "It is slightly harder than in army boots but we are trying."
The footwear has been criticised not only by government officials but also online with some claiming that the women soldiers were being sexualised.
One commentator, Maria Shapranova, said: "High heels is a mockery of women imposed by the beauty industry," before accusing the defence ministry of 'sexism and misogyny'.
According to the MailOnline, some Ukrainian lawmakers showed up to parliament with pairs of shoes and encouraged the defence minister, Andrii Taran, to wear high heels to the parade.
Inna Sovsun, a member of the Golos party, said: "It is hard to imagine a more idiotic, harmful idea," before adding that women soldiers were, like men, risking their lives and 'do not deserve to be mocked'.
Deputies of the European Solidarity party presented :high_heel:heels to defense Minister Andrii Taran.
Thus, they expressed their indignation that for this year's parade before the :flag_ua: Independence Day, cadet girls are trained to military walk in heels.@IKlympush #Ukraine pic.twitter.com/fHQw6LLP5b
- Promote Ukraine (@PromoteUkraine) July 2, 2021
On social media, one person wrote: "This is so offensive to the Ukrainian soldiers involved. I've been thinking about similar issues in the East German army of the 1980s, where new uniforms cinched women's waists, used flimsier fabrics, were cut smaller across the shoulders, and so on."
Another added: "31,000 female soldiers in Ukraine risking their lives defending their country just like their male counterparts ... only to be made a mockery of and forced to march in heels."
A third simply wrote: "It's 2021. Please tell me this is a hoax." Sadly not.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read