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Defense Ministry: Number of women in Ukraine’s army up 40% in two years

It’s explained because women can now serve in positions previously off-limits, like machine gunner, sniper and infantry fighting vehicle commander; and a contract for military service risen from 40 to 60, on par with men.
Credit: AFP
Defense Ministry: Number of women in Ukraine’s army up 40% in two years

Over the past two years, the number of women in Ukraine’s Armed Forces has increased by 40% compared to 2021, the Ministry of Defense reported on 16 October.

The ministry said that the number of women in the army has increased by 12,000 – almost 43,000 servicewomen are currently serving.

It’s explained by the lifted restrictions on women’s access to all military positions. Previously, women could serve mainly as medical specialists, signalmen, accountants, clerks and cooks. However, now a female soldier in Ukraine’s army can be a driver, grenade launcher, deputy commander of a reconnaissance group, commander of an infantry fighting vehicle, repairman, machine gunner, sniper, etc.

In addition, age restrictions for women have been lifted. Previously, a woman could sign a contract for military service up to the age of 40, but now the age has risen to 60, on par with men.

In 2019, the government allowed girls to enter military lyceums to receive military education at all levels. They can study the same specialities as men and serve in a wide range of positions.

In addition, the Ministry of Defense has organized systematic work to increase the level of competence of personnel in ensuring equal rights and opportunities for women and men.

According to the ministry, previously, there were no trainings, seminars, meetings, educational programs, or roundtables with the participation of international organizations, experts and specialists on equality in the Ukrainian army. Now, this work is taking place on a regular basis in all military units.

“We take aspects of equality into account when drafting regulations, subjecting all developed documents to gender analysis,” the ministry said.

In 2021, before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the number of women in the Armed Forces was about 30,000, according to Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar. In May 2023, Maliar said that 5,000 women were fighting on the front line, and 107 women had already been killed in action.

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