Fury as new Ukraine PM appoints all-male cabinet because ‘conducting reform is not women’s business’
A feminist group in Ukraine has called on wives, girlfriends and lovers of the country’s new Cabinet ministers to impose a sex ban after accusing the prime minister of being anti-women.
Mykola Azarov defended his decision to appoint an all-male government, saying he needed ‘people who can work 16-to-18 hours a day’ to fix the recession-hit economy.
‘Conducting reforms is not women’s business,’ the new pro-Russian premier insisted. He claimed it was too tough for women who could not say ‘no’.
He also ordered an Orthodox priest to exorcise the spirit of his female predecessor, Orange Revolution princess Yulia Tymoshenko, from his office. ‘It was very hard to breathe in there,’ he said.
His comments sparked fury from the Femen feminist group, which accused the career apparatchik of ‘blatant boorishness’.
‘Femen wants the wives, girlfriends and all females close to government ministers to declare a sex boycott of Cabinet members in protest against the impudent and humiliating treatment of Ukrainian women,’ said the group.
‘People with such an archaic views on women, who constitute more than half of Ukraine’s population, have no right to hold leadership positions.
‘In the whole civilized world, such a statement would be political suicide for any high-ranking official. Such remarks are shameful, not only for top-level politics, but for every man.’
The feminists also took issue with President Viktor Yanukovych – who won power in February’s election – for suggesting that a woman’s place is in the kitchen not politics.
The group likened the attitude to women by the newly-elected Ukrainian government to the policy in Nazi Germany of limiting women to the three Ks – ‘Kuche, Kinder, Kirche’ (kitchen, children, church).
They claimed Ukraine’s was the only government in Europe without a woman minister.
‘We are confident that Ukrainian women will never agree to neglect themselves and will force state leaders to change their views,’ said the group.
On polling day last month, the group staged a topless protest in sub-zero temperatures. They unfurled posters saying ‘Stop Raping the Country’.
The feminists have also protested against sex tourism in Ukraine.