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Is Pregnant Woman as Defense Minister a Coup for Women?

Spain's newly re-elected Socialist prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has appointed more women than men to his cabinet, including Carme Chacó as defense minister. Not only is Chacó a woman, she is seven months pregnant.

Gender equality has become the centerpiece of Zapatero's administration, as well as the Socialist Party. During his first term, Zapatero enacted laws against domestic violence, legalized gay marriage, eased divorce laws, and required political parties to include as many women as men. He also created an Equality Ministry to monitor women's rights.

Many welcome the image of femininity leading Spain's armed forces. Spain's former secretary for equality says that the appointment demonstrates that an army "can be more feminine, more humanitarian." But, the appointment is not without controversy — Zapatero has no military training and has been using gentle rhetoric to discuss the armed forces. Newly re-elected Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi provided his two cents, saying Spain has "“a government that in my opinion is too pink.”

Are you happy to see a woman, pregnant no less, leading Spain's armed forces?


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