The procedure for enrolling women in the military register should come into force in Ukraine from Oct. 1, 2022, and those who pass it may be barred from leaving the country during the period of martial law if it is extended, lawyers have told NV.
Women whose specialties or professions are related to the relevant military accounting specialties had to be registered for the draft from Oct. 1, 2022. The change to conscription legislation came into force under an order of Ukraine's Defense Ministry of Oct. 11, 2021.
As of today, the updated list contains 14 specialties and professions, including: food technology, medicine, nursing and pharmacology, veterinary medicine, accounting and taxation, psychology, social work and social security, and others.
However, it is still unclear how it will be determined whether a woman belongs to this list – based on a higher education diploma or on actual work experience
"There is no unequivocal answer to this question, because it is not regulated anywhere in the documents," lawyer Nataliia Feshchyk told NV.
"But in general, those who study this topic tend to believe that it should be both education and actual work, and if a woman is registered as self-employed, then it should be the classifier of economic activities she uses. However, only the military commissar's offices need to know how this should be implemented in practice."
The Law of Ukraine on mobilization and mobilization training does not make a distinction between male and female, says Feshchyk. Therefore, in case the martial law is extended, female conscripts will have the same restrictions on traveling abroad as male conscripts.
"The list of grounds that grant the right to cross the border is determined by the relevant rules, which, at the same time, in most cases are those that refer to Art. 23 of the Law on mobilization, which defines the list of grounds for the postponement of conscription for military service during mobilization," Feshchyk said.
"For example, women and men in military service who have three or more children aged 18 and over, women and men who independently raise a child under the age of 18, guardians, custodians, adoptive parents and foster parents of children under 18 with disabilities will be able to cross the border."
Along with this, if there is a family in which both a man and a woman are conscripted and together raise one or two children without disabilities under the age of 18, both of them will not be able to travel abroad and take their children, for example, in the case of an escalation (in hostilities), the expert added.
One of the parents would be entitled to the deferment if they fell under the above-mentioned exception categories.
"Logically, it may seem that as long as a person is not registered for military service, he or she is not conscripted, and therefore can cross the border freely," Feshchyk said.
"But it won't work like that. First of all, due to the fact that both men and women are subject to administrative responsibility for not registering."
To date, Ukraine has a six-month transition period for the preparation of relevant legal documents regarding a women's military registration. Therefore, this procedure should work in full from Oct. 1, 2022, Feshchyk predicts.
It should be mentioned that Ukraine has already launched the production of women's military uniforms. The project is called Arm Women Now and is aimed at creating a military uniform specially tailored for women. Prior to that, Ukrainian female military personnel wore men's uniforms or ordered women's uniforms from abroad.