UARU
Ukrainian Military Academy Rejects Woman Based on Gender
10 August, 2018

A Ukrainian military academy has rejected a 24-year-old woman from a training program because of her gender.

Polina Kravchenko applied to take part in new officer program at the Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi National Ground Forces Academy in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv but was denied entry into the course because the school does not have enough women’s facilities.

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After being rejected from the program, Kravchenko posted on Facebook that women were not being recruited for the course.

“We have been held back again, and the law on gender equality is not entirely gender-based. I came here to become a commander of a platoon of artillery detachments. They say it is impossible,” she wrote on August 6.

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“Although, somehow, I started serving in the “impossible” role of gunner of an MT-12 anti-tank gun.”

The decision to only allow male intake into the course was made by the academy.

Acting Deputy Chief of the Academy’s Department of Moral and Psychological Support Lieutenant Colonel Anton Mironovich said the decision was made because there were currently no free spaces in the women's dormitories. He added that the academy could not accommodate them elsewhere because the hygiene conditions would be unsuitable.

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According to Mironovich, women needed "more hygienic conditions” than men.

He said this was why only men were admitted into the course.

Mironovich also confirmed that the conditions of admission to the program did not stipulate that only men could take the course.

The program, which is currently being piloted, is designed to allow students to progress to the rank of officer within a year, as opposed to 4-5 years through the standard program.

Mironovich said that the university was aiming to determine who would be interested in the program.

A total of 60 men and 20 women expressed interest in the course, which had a 30-space capacity.

Mironovich said that not all 20 women were rejected – some decided against taking the course  when they found out that they would only have the choice of being appointed commander of an artillery or mechanized unit after graduation.

He added that the academy plans to make the course accessible to women in the future.

The academy previously stated that women would not be admitted onto the course because "there was no need to appoint women to such positions" and other specialties would be opened up for female students.

There are currently 160 female students studying at the academy.

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Ukrainian Ombudsman representative for the Protection of Military Personnel Rights Oleg Trokhimenko called on the Ministry of Defense to explain why Kravchenko was not allowed to attend the officer program in Lviv.

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Although the list of positions available to women in the army has recently been expanded, the law that would allow men and women to serve in the same ranks has only been passed the first reading in parliament.

Meanwhile, female soldiers will take part in Ukraine's Independence Day parade for the first time on August 24.

/By Natalie Vikhrov