No to equality in Militarism
By Greek Feminist Collective TO MOV, 29 December 2015
At a time when the democratic demand is the abolition of compulsory military service, the ministry of Defence, on the contrary, seems to wish the extension of this service to women.
According to publications, a new bill is prepared for the foundation of military secondary schools (lycea) in which all those planning to follow military or police professions will enrol, and also the women enroling such lycea will have to subsequently perform “voluntary” military service, in order to be eligible for exams in the respective academies. We are faced with a proposal for radical and reactionary reform of the education system in the second grade, which must not pass. What does the Minister of Education say? Does the Minister of Defence decide alone for his own ministry? On what right?
The intention of Defence Minister Mr. Kamenos, for the “voluntary” military service of women had been publicised a few months ago, with the promise that these women would get points which would help them for appointment in the public sector. How “voluntary” could such service be, at a time when 60% of young women are unemployed? It is simply the cheese in a military trap, that could be eaten by quite a few women.
Of the 47 member-states of the Council of Europe, 28 of which are members of the European Union, only in 16 is there compulsory military service today. Moreover, the only example for women’ conscription we have is in Israel, this supermilitarised and aggressive state, where women’s and feminist organisations are fighting for peace and against military service of men and women, as well as for the defence of all those rejecting conscription. We, also, defend the conscientious objectors in Greece.
As feminists we have been declaring for many decades that equality in militarism does not favour gender equality but only the power centres, the weapons merchants and corruption.
Such reforms do not lead to equality, but on the contrary, place more obstacles to women, since, up to now, women and men have the right for career in the armed forces and the police in all skills, with uniform conditions and processes.
The specific proposal aims to close the gaps created by the decrease of defence budget (by 200 million euro for 2016). Despite the welcome decrease in this budget though, we remain the 7th country in the world (per capita) in military spending.
We demand the drastic decrease of military spending and the use of the funds saved to social services. We need more spending for education, since we spend less than half of the medium of the EU states. We need more teachers, more nurses and midwives, more doctors and more shelters for battered women, but less tanks, military aircrafts and faulty submarines.
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