Local January 22, 2018 | 12:05 pm

Women make up less than 30% of armed forces

Gender ratios in DR armed forces. Source: eldia.com.do

Santo Domingo.- Although the number of women in the armed forces has grown significantly in recent years, females have yet to cross the 30% mark in any of the three branches of the Dominican military.

The low intake of women to the ranks of the armed forces was reflected late last year when only four out of 25 air force graduates were female.

In fact, the air force is the branch with the highest percentage of women, with 4,809 female members out of a total 12,366. The ratios in the navy and the air force are lower.

Over the past two years the percentage of women in the air force grew by just 1%, from 27% in 2015 to 28%. The percentage in the army grew from 14% to 15% while the navy increased its percentage of women from 19% to 20%.

Security expert Daniel Pou attributes the slow process to the traditional perception in the country that restricts women to certain roles. “We haven’t reached the level where as many women join compared to other countries. There is a need to break cultural barriers that prevent women from perceiving themselves as leading players in the military ranks,” said Pou.

However, some women have reached the higher ranks, but not the top posts. Pou stated that women are treated with dignity in the armed forces.

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