KIEV — Fans attending Uefa Euro 2012 in Ukraine may be confronted by the continent’s briefest mini-kirts and lowest-cut tops, but they will barely glimpse the day-to-day life difficulties faced by women in the former Soviet republic, rights activists say.
“Fans are going to see lots of attractive women and for many that is going to reinforce the negative image our women have abroad,” said Anna Gutsol, founder and spokeswoman for the Femen political action group.
“Most foreigners aren’t even going to begin to think how hard life for female Ukrainians is. They’ll just look at us like some kind of pretty piece of candy,” she said.
Femen is notorious in Ukraine for its tactic of sending attractive young women to a public location to strip topless and shout about their causes, and loudly resisting police and security guards sent to quiet them.
“Euro 2012 will promote sex tourism in Ukraine, and demean women here even more. In Europe, Ukrainian women have the unfortunate reputation as beautiful, cheap sex dolls, and when the fans get here that image will only be reinforced,” she said.