Integration of Women into the Armed Forces: Perspectives and Problems of Ukrainian Society

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Tamara Martsenyuk
Ganna Grytsenko
Anna Kvit
Maria Berlinska


This article analyzes women’s integration into the Armed Forces of Ukraine from a liberal feminist point of view, incorporating sociological and gender perspectives. The phenomenon of vertical and horizontal gender segregation and gender discrimination in the Armed Forces is described as a problem of the labor market, based on both the Soviet legacy and global trends of women’s participation in the military. However, the growing number of military women in the contract service is primarily associated with the reluctance of men to hold low-paid positions. Women in the Armed Forces of Ukraine participate mostly in the so-called feminized professions: nursing, finance, logistics, and communications. Women in the military also face gender discrimination and prejudice. The infrastructure of the Ukrainian military is designed for the needs of men and thus excludes women with their specific needs from the army.
In this article we consider the opportunities and challenges around the implementation of the gender policy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Formally, the Ukrainian army had developed a gender policy that meets the national gender policy and attempts to guarantee equal rights for all persons, regardless of sex, in military life. However, there is resistance to the realistic implementation of the declared policy of equal rights and opportunities for women and men. The article is based on the findings of the “Invisible Battalion” project (conducted in 2015–2016), which ooked at the roles women played in the Antiterrorist Operation (ATO ) in the Donbas region and their fight for equal rights and opportunities in Ukraine.

DOI: 10.25285/2078-1938-2018-10-2-13-33


Women, Armed Forces, Gender, Ukraine

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