UARU
Women's Rights And The Ukrainian Army
4 July, 2016
843

What You Need To Know:

 

✓ The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence passed a new order that formally legalizes female combat positions in the Ukrainian Army.

 

✓ “Many women in the Army, they are doing real work but they are registered as cooks, receptionists.” They earn less and are not guaranteed social security if something happens to them.

 

✓ Karbowska believes that there should be a systemic approach and structure in the Ministry of Defense to ensure gender equality in the security and defense sectors.

 

✓ There are “strong stereotypes in the Ukrainian Army – gender stereotypes – with just one order, we cannot really fight them.”

 

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence passed a new order that formally legalizes female combat positions in the Ukrainian Army. According to Natalia Karbowska of the Ukrainian Women’s Fund, this is a big achievement for the women currently enlisted in the Ukrainian Army, however “this is just the beginning; the fight is not won yet,” she says. Last December, the ‘Invisible Battalion’ project initiated by female activists studied the problems that Ukrainian women face in the Army. It was then presented to the Ministry of Defense and resulted in this new order. “Many women in the Army, they are doing real work but they are registered as cooks, receptionists,” she says, adding that they earn less and are not guaranteed social security if something happens to them.

 

The new order, which is only about lower level positions, discusses 85 professions that female soldiers hold in the Army. Despite room for improvement, Karbowska says that there is a significant difference from the old order, under which women were not able to be drivers or interpreters: “Now there is a change and they can occupy these positions.” However, she thinks that more work has to be done for women to access proper military education.

 

While this is a positive step, Karbowska believes that there should be a systemic approach and structure in the Ministry of Defense to ensure gender equality in the security and defense sectors. There are “strong stereotypes in the Ukrainian Army – gender stereotypes – with just one order, we cannot really fight them.” A new gender advisor as well as a gender working group established in the Ministry, could lead to more positive developments for the women in Ukraine’s Army.

 

Hromadske’s Nataliya Gumenyuk and Kyiv Post’s Josh Kovensky spoke to Natalia Karbowska, Board Chair of the Ukrainian Women’s Fund during The Sunday Show on July 3rd, 2016 in Kyiv.