Women in the Portuguese Armed Forces: from visibility to eclipse
Ten years after women began to join the Portuguese armed forces, the whole question of gender integration in the military seems to have been almost entirely dismissed as an issue in terms of institutional priorities, political initiative and public awareness. This article addresses some of the factors that may help explain this apparent `eclipse' by focusing on the social, political and organizational contexts of women's military participation. After reviewing the factors that lay behind the decision from within the armed forces to recruit women, as well as the initial reactions on the part of different sectors of Portuguese society, it proceeds with an analysis of military policies regarding the armed forces' new members. Data are presented on the number, relative percentages, institutional location and sociological profile of military women. A content analysis of newspaper articles on the topic of military women published in the course of the last decade completes this empirical scrutiny. Finally, questions are raised concerning the social and political meaning of women's presence in the Portuguese armed forces.
Classificação Fields of Science and Technology
- Sociologia - Ciências Sociais