Ukraine’s defense ministry said it will shelf for a year the policy requiring women in a range of professions to have a military registration at conscription offices. The ministry rowed back on the controversial move after it faced a public backlash  over the fears it can see women being  denied the right to leave the country under the martial law update.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the defense ministry said it put forward an upgrade to  the law On Military Duty and Military Service, making such military registration for women optional.

Apart from it, the defense ministry came up a 1-year deferral on its earlier directive demanding women in a dozen of professions to register for military service. The new deadline approved by defense minister Oleksiy Reznikov is now set for October 1, 2023.

Deputy defense minister Hanna Malyar stressed the controversial policy of mandatory military registration was in line with laws while the new directive will make fixing this issue easier for Ukrainian lawmakers.

‘We can only- in line with our authority-  put off the terms. So, it has been postponed till October 2023,’ added Malyar.

Once Ukraine’s parliament green-lights making military registration for women optional, there will be no call for new deferral directives from the defense ministry.