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Demo to support female army officers over gender discrimination on Women’s Day

soldiers

A demonstration will be held outside the defence ministry on March 8 to demand an immediate end to discrimination against female army personnel, organisers said on Friday.

The matter concerns some 200 non-commissioned officers (NCOs) hired back in the 1990s and who, according to a recent report by the ombudswoman were not promoted as fast as their male colleagues.

This is despite the fact that in 2016 the relevant regulations were amended, on paper putting an end to this dual-track treatment. But until today, the ombudswoman said in her report, the military treats female NCOs differently, impacting both their rank as well as their pay grade.

The protest is being held on International Women’s Day, where traditionally government and political parties reiterate their commitment to full equality.

In a statement, the organisers said women officers were victims of illegal discrimination and demanded the government move immediately to redress this injustice.

They want affected women officers to be retroactively appointed sergeants from the date of eligibility, and for their career track to be revised accordingly. Failure to act on the findings of the ombudswoman only prolongs the injustice, they added.

The protest is being organised by the parents and relatives of the affected officers and other supporters of women’s rights with the support of the officers’ lawyer.

A demonstration in support of the 200 female NCOs took place last month outside the presidential palace. The demonstrators handed a resolution to a palace official, calling for “the immediate addressing of the prohibited discrimination based on gender at the workplace.”

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