Over the past seven years the number of servicewomen in the Ukrainian armed forces has more than doubled. Driven by the war in Donbas and a successful advocacy campaign by activists and academics, this increase has been welcomed by the military high command, while the legislative framework has been amended to facilitate the recruitment of women in the army. However, a number of cultural and institutional obstacles still remains in the path of true gender equality.
In November 2020 Anatoliy Petrenko, Ukraine's deputy minister of defence, declared to the Fourth Congress of Ukrainian Women that 58,000 female soldiers were currently serving in the armed forces. A number that, according to him, “exceeds in many cases the total size of the armed forces of some European countries”. This increased participation of women has been discussed at length in Ukrainian media and is seen as a great achievement and a source of pride for the war-worn country, fighting a seven-years-long war against Russia-supported forces in the eastern region of Donbas.
June 23, 2021 -