Women’s chances to advance in military and police careers are limited, study

The barriers typical of the women’s participation in home affairs and defense and the structural problems that hamper the women’s inclusion in these areas were analyzed in a feasibility study conducted by the Center “Partnership for Development” (CPD)  in cooperation with UN Women. The study reveals the insufficiency of efficient policies for promoting women to executive posts at the Ministry of Home Affairs and the subordinate bodies. Only 10% of the managerial posts are held by women. In defense, the provisions that regulate the advancement in a military career seem to be neutral. However, given the underrepresentation of women in attestation commissions, the stereotypes and gender prejudice, women’s chances to advance in military carriers are limited, IPN reports.

The study assesses the possible special temporary and reasonable accommodation measures for promoting gender equality in the two areas through a number of angles, such as physical requirements and gender dimension, recruitment and admission, advancement and segregation on the vertical, working program, family responsibilities and infrastructure.

In the field of home affairs, the special normative documents maintain differentiated physical requirements for applicants to the Police Academy and persons who choose to work in subordinate institutions. The female police officers are not sufficiently trained to use physical force and special means.

The study shows that the admission quotas (of up to 30% of all the places in fulltime education) for female applicants are discriminatory and disadvantage female applicants. In the recruitment sector, there are discriminatory provisions that can lead to the refusal to admit and employ pregnant women. According to informal practices, the pregnant women applying to the Police Academy and the Border Police College are not admitted by medical examination commissions.

In defense, event if measures were taken to remove particular barriers, there are yet practices to maintain differentiated standards for the physical training of women and men that are not necessarily based on biological gender differences. The women are underrepresented in certification and admission commissions, representing about 1/5 of the total members. The recruitment process seems to be neutral from the gender perspective and this neutral practice disadvantages women.

The rigid norms concerning maternity and childcare leave make the women choose between maternity and advancement in career. The mentioned legislative and normative documents do not stipulate norms concerning reasonable accommodation to the working hours, similar to the norms in the Labor Code.

The learning conditions at military education institutions do not take into account the different biological particularities of women and men. The military uniforms and other military devices ignore particular specific features of the person.

The study was carried out by the CPD together with human rights expert Andrei Brighidin, international expert Romanița Iordache and legal expert Vadim Vieru. It forms part of the project “Support for Moldovan women in leadership and participation in decision-making” is implemented by the CPD together with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and is financed by Sweden.

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