January 25, 2021

The challenges and barriers of the Armed Forces – The Province

The challenges and barriers of the Armed Forces - The Province

Six women belonging to the Armed Forces and the State Security Corps, decorated on several occasions, yesterday performed the act 'Women with Courage' in the government delegation in the Canary Islands, where they narrated their experiences to students of four institutes of the Island.

The challenges and barriers of the incorporation of women to the Armed Forces and the different State Security Corps centered the act yesterday Women with Value at the headquarters of the Government delegation in the Canary Islands, where six military women shelled a reality marked by "difficulties" for the reconciliation of family and professional life in a traditionally male world.

The participants subscribed that they have "paved the way" for those women who wish to develop a military career in the Spanish Army, where they make up only 12'7% of the total membership. "Society has to realize that women are already here, where we want to be," said Adelina Torres, corporal of Infantería del Mando de Canarias, Brigada Canarias XVI, Tenerife 49 Infantry Regiment, where she joined 19 years ago.

The past 2018 marked the 30th anniversary of the entry of women into the Armed Forces and 40 years of joining the National Police, as recalled yesterday Elena Máñez, Government delegate in the Canary Islands, at whose trial "Spain can boast of having one of the most advanced armies in this matter. "


However, this event coincided in 2018 with the publication of the first official data of the Observatory of Military Life, under the Ministry of Defense, which pulverized the blanket of silence that until now has hidden the situations of sexual, labor or professional harassment in the bosom of the armies. This document recalled that, before 2015, and the famous case of the commander of Zaida Cantero, today a deputy of the PSOE, the harassment was not even classified as a crime in the Military Penal Code, which triggered a first intervention protocol in November of that year. Since then, a total of 76 complaints have been registered in the Armed Forces for sexual harassment or because of sex.

The six speakers, when questioned by possible cases of discrimination or harassment within the Army in the presence of the military leadership, the media and groups of students from four schools, denied having lived or heard similar cases throughout their lives. decades of service.

"There may be specific cases, as in any job, but the Army already has its own mechanisms to pursue these cases," explained Torres, who argued in defense of the body that "it is not the institution that is sexist, it is society that continues to maintain stereotypes with which we must end. "

On the other hand, the bulk of the participants, almost all mothers, agreed that the measures of family reconciliation contemplated by the Armed Forces, such as the reduction of working hours and flexible hours for both men and women, have allowed them to to reconcile their professional and private facets, although "sometimes it is difficult to maintain operability," the corporal also pointed out. Precisely, Torres reported that he joined the Army when his first child had months and took the opportunity to promote themselves years later "No matter the sex, no matter the condition, it does not matter, it matters only the vocation," he revealed. "Although it is difficult, you can, because the laws allow it," said Cristina Alejandra Núñez-Cacho, head of the Naval Command of the Canary Islands.

The military agreed that there is a clear "disproportion between men and women," as Helena Rosa Perdomo, first sergeant of the Canary Islands Air Command, where she entered 20 years ago, and who is "proud of being part of a trade that before it was exclusively for men "and that, nevertheless," welcomed us with open arms ".

Sergeant First Perdomo remembers that "in my first years of profession, the fact of being a woman called my attention a bit, but I never felt rejection nor did I find any kind of difficulty in carrying out my work". "It is true that we were few women and the barracks were not prepared logistically for our arrival, but little by little those problems were solved and I have always felt like one more," said Perdomo, who specialized in aircraft mechanics of the Service of Search and Rescue (SAR) at the Air Base of Gando nine years ago, where he confirms that "more and more women are developing this work that I, particularly, like a lot."

Regarding the promotion options, all recalled that the opposition to promotion in both bodies are the same for men and women, since sometimes, it is the "self-censorship" that constrains many women at the time of " Take that step. "


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