Plans by Ukraine’s defence ministry to have female soldiers march in high heels instead of army boots in a parade next month have caused angry reactions.
Iryna Gerashchenko, an opposition member of parliament, said it was sexism, not equality.
Ukraine is preparing to stage a military parade on 24 August to mark 30 years of independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The defence ministry say the shoes are part of regulation-dress uniform.
Many in Ukraine expressed shock at the plan, with a group of lawmakers calling on Defence Minister Andriy Taran to offer an apology.
“The story of a parade in heels is a real disgrace,” commentator Vitaly Portnikov said on Facebook, arguing that some officials had a “medieval” mindset.
Ms Gerashchenko said she initially thought the pictures of women soldiers rehearsing in combat trousers and black pumps with block heels was a hoax. She said it was sexism, not equality, and wondered why the ministry thought heels were more important than designing body armour tailored to women.