20 April 2008

The tale of a pregnant defense minister...

It seems the world is up in arms given Spain's newest Minister of Defense is not only a woman but she is also 7 months pregnant..

Carme Chacon, 37, shown in the image above inspecting her troups, is being heralded by Spanish feminist as being a role model; that women can be everywhere, especially if they are mothers. Spanish sociologists see Chacon's pregnancy as signalling more than just gender equality. Rather, the appearance of 'a woman in full womanhood' is symbolic of a more feminine, humanitarian military force.

As per usual, many people are questioning whether this capable woman will be able to do her job like a man because she of her pregnancy. The question resting on everyone's lips seems to be whether Chacon will take the 16 weeks paid maternity leave to which she is entitled.

In spite of the consternation the Minister has provoked, the truth is that her appointment marks a 'radical changing of the old Guard' in which Chacon is one of 9 women appointed to Prime Minister Zapatero's Cabinet. Zapatero was only recently criticised by Berlesconi of Italy for having a Cabinet that was 'too pink'. Life for Spanish women has never been easy, especially under Franco, women were unable to even hold passports or bank accounts on their own. This is definitely a new day.

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The Baby Bump Project by Meredith Nash is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.