MOSCOW (AP) – Ukraine’s defense minister is under pressure from members of the government over the decision to have military cadets wear high heels during a major parade.
“The purpose of any military parade is to demonstrate the military capability of the army. There should be no room for stereotypes and sexism, ”said a joint statement from three Cabinet members, including Veterans Affairs Minister Yulia Laputina.
The statement follows last week’s announcement of the shoes at the parade scheduled for August 24, the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union.
He noted that around 57,000 women serve in the country’s armed forces and “have proven their worth not with heels, but with machine guns.”
Defense Minister Andriy Taran said on Saturday he had asked authorities to determine whether “experimental” shoes – ankle boots, according to media reports – could be worn by cadets instead of pumps with heels.
The military provided no explanation as to why female cadets wore a different type of shoe than male cadets.