Brazilian Armed Forces take historic steps toward the inclusion of women in their operational sectors

Ministry of Defence of Brazil/Wikimedia Commons
March 18, 2024

The Brazilian Armed Forces have started the new year by taking historic steps toward the inclusion of women in their operational sectors. For one, the Army’s Aircraft Pilots Course and Aircraft Maintenance Management Course will now have female students.

“Gender diversity brings a variety of perspectives and approaches, enriching decision-making and problem-solving. Women possess communication, empathy, and multitasking skills that are valuable in complex operations, essential characteristics in the areas of piloting and management,” Lieutenant Colonel Eduardo Antonio Ferreira, deputy commander of the Brazilian Army Aviation Training Center, said.

Referring to the improved representation of women, Ferreira went on to say that, “This creates an environment that is more inclusive, motivating, and adaptable to contemporary demands, strengthening the capability of the Armed Forces to face present and future challenges.” For Ferreira, “the presence of women in these courses not only enriches the Armed Forces with diverse talents, but also reinforces the commitment to justice and meritocracy, contributing to a stronger and more representative institution.”

The Pilots Course lasts 63 weeks, covering subjects such as Helicopter Flight Theory, Piloting Maneuvers and Air Navigation, Weapons, Ammunition and Shooting. The Aircraft Maintenance Management Course lasts 38 weeks and qualifies soldiers for positions and functions linked to supply and transportation by air and to financial and materiel management.

Secondly, the Brazilian Navy has also increased female inclusion. On February 19, the first class of women in the Marine Soldier Course began. “Of the 720 young people starting their adaptation period in the Marine Soldier Training Course this year, 120 are female,” reported the Brazilian Navy’s Marine News Agency.

In addition, in February, the Brazilian Navy’s Naval Peace Operations Center sent a Mobile Training Team made up of three women captains to Mexico to conduct the Gender Counselor Course. “The training aims to prepare military personnel who will act as gender advisors or focal points in United Nations [U.N.] peacekeeping operations,” said the Navy News Agency

Brazil launched its first National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace, and Security in 2017. “By adopting the NAP, the Brazilian government reaffirmed its commitment to the role of women in promoting international peace and security, as well as to the protection and empowerment of all women and girls,” the Brazilian government said in a statement in 2022. In 2023, Brazil took another step with the launch of the II PNA on WPS, which provides objectives not only for Brazilian foreign policy, but also for domestic public policies.

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