Photo 10:41 05 Aug 2023

Solutions to win: Ukrainian Defense Ministry approves new set of women's military uniforms

Фото: Міністерство оборони України

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has finally approved a sample of a summer field uniform for women soldiers.

The uniform is now officially part of Ukraine's military code, the press service reports.

What is the problem?

Ukraine has a strong rate of women serving its forces compared to NATO member states. The number of female servicewomen in the armies of NATO member states ranges from 0.3% to 20%, while the US  has 17% of women, 11% in the UK, and 10% in Estonia. Ukrainian forces have over 70,000 women soldiers currently working for the victory.

Despite the numbers, the issue of appropriate uniforms and underwear for women has been quite acute ever since the war in 2014. They simply did not exist, and women were provided with men's uniforms, which caused a whole range of inconveniences. Volunteers and women-made funds took the matter in their hands.

What is the solution?

Work on the women's field uniform was launched by the defense ministry, the Arm Women Now project, and the Forma Two public initiative, supported by the Presidential Commissioner for Accessibility in 2022. The ministry held numerous working group meetings to finalize the uniform development, taking it to the final stage of approval.

How does it work?

Based on the results of pilot tests, the technical features for this type of uniform were finally approved, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said.

Військовослужбовиці ЗСУ, форма

Photo: Ukraine's DM

This model of a summer uniform for our soldiers is undergoing the proper procedures within the stated timeframe. The technical specification and the prototype have already been approved. So, in the near future, we will start the manufacturing and supply to the troops, Reznikov specified.

Військовослужбовиці ЗСУ, форма

Photo: Ukraine's DM

The updated model of the uniform was based on all the wishes and comments of women soldiers who participated in the military (research) tests.

Військовослужбовиці ЗСУ, форма

Photo: Ukraine's DM

I believe the new uniform will make it much more comfortable to perform both combat and logistical duties. Women's military uniforms have not been commonplace in any country for a long time, Reznikov said.

The minister cites the US's military experience when women have been allowed to serve in the army since 1948, and the female uniform was only approved in 2009.

In the Israeli army, where women have also been performing compulsory military service for more than 50 years, not all units are issued women's uniforms. So, we can safely say that we are among the leaders, said Reznikov.

Військовослужбовиці ЗСУ, форма

Photo: Ukraine's DM

He noted that Ukrainian manufacturers are still working on women's bulletproof vests. 

We already have the first samples of women's body armor. They are being studied for compliance with the technical specification. After all the relevant tests and approvals, we will approve the prototypes of bulletproof vests. Our defenders will be able to receive not only field uniforms but also personal protective equipment in accordance with their anthropometric data, the defense minister concluded.

Військовослужбовиці ЗСУ, форма

Photo: Ukraine's DM

At the moment of the full-scale war outset, about 5,000 women soldiers serve on the front line, performing combat missions along with men.

The Ukrainian volunteer organization Arm Women Now initiated creating a military uniform for women that would eventually become "official." Until now, Ukraine has not had one. Read about the solution and how it works in our article, dedicated to women's military uniforms according to NATO standards.

Previously, in mid-July of this year, the Arm Women Now project showed journalists samples of women's military uniforms that Ukraine's Defense Ministry is testing and preparing for the final launch.


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