Friday, September 30, 2011

And Before This Law Was Passed?

From EFE:
The Chamber of Deputies in Mexico approved a reform that opens the possibility of a woman being named for the first time to serve as secretary of national defense, to head a department where 10,565 women work.

The bill, approved by 359 deputies, establishes that "without distinguishing between gender, the members of the Mexican army and the air force can be promoted to all levels of command, including positions of high command in the army and air force".
The law had been tabled for six years before the passage. So prior to this, were women actively barred from heading the military branches? Can that be? Or was it just the case that tradition (and the military's demographic makeup) has always led presidents to select men in the past, and this law is merely a reminder that capable women should also be considered? If it's the latter, I'm not sure this accomplishes much. Also, are the marines already officially gender-neutral, or are they lagging?


Richard said...

FWIW, there are women marines, including at least one on the anti-narco teams ... I'd have to dig through my old website to find the story, something I'm not gonna do this weekend, sorry.

I get the feeling the "ban" on women at the head of SEDENA is probably just that gender neutral language in the code had been overlooked until now. I always thought one of the weaknesses of the Mexican political system isn't so much the ban on legislative re-election but the lack of professional administrative staff for legislators and a non-partisan support and legislative research bureau. Wonky stuff, but something that keeps legislators from getting bogged down in non-issues like this.

pc said...

Right I kind of have the same sense, that it was just affirming something that already could have happened, but just didnt. I'm not sure this will do much to affect something that seems deeply embedded in Mexico's military culture, but I guess it can't do any harm.