A Feminine Touch : Gender and Civil-Military Relations in the Chilean Armed Forces
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This analysis explores the extent to which gender equality exists within the Chilean military institutions. A clear political and legal space has been created for equality to grow in Chile, and many advances in Chilean politics demonstrate progress in terms of expanding the gender equality agenda in Chilean society. However, my analysis indicates that traditional and discriminatory ideas of gender, dominating the culture of the Chilean Armed Forces, are limiting the social process of integrating gender equal policies and practices in the Chilean military. I place a clear emphasis on the military as a central institution guiding the direction of this process, with the main issue being that traditional ideas of gender remain unchallenged within the Chilean military. While not officially objecting to gender equality policies and laws, the Chilean military is still demonstrating passive resistance through gender hostile and discriminatory practises. By allowing gender discrimination, seen as preventing change in power structures between genders, the Chilean Armed Forces are able to secure their masculine environment without having to officially resist government policies.