Spain's Pregnant Defense Minister Comes Under Attack

The defense minister in Spain is 7 months pregnant.

Spain’s defense minister Carme Chacon reviews troops in Madrid, in a Monday April 14, 2008 file photo. In Spain some were already questioning whether Chacon, Spain’s first woman defense minister, should be able to take the state-mandated 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, given the importance of her job.
(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Italian Prime Minister-elect Silvio Berlusconi mocked the Zapatero government in Spain for having more women than men on the cabinet.
AKI reported:

Prime minister-elect Silvio Berlusconi has divided left-wing commentators with controversial comments he made about the women in Spain’s cabinet.

The Italian left-wing daily, Il Riformista, on Wednesday published diverse opinions about Spain’s new defence minister, Carme Chacon, who is seven months pregnant.

Last week, Berlusconi said Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero had appointed too many women to his cabinet, which he considered “too pink”.

Speaking on Radio Monte Carlo, Berlusconi joked that Zapatero “would have problems” because there were nine women in his new cabinet.

Chacon’s role as defence minister has been attacked by journalists from Il Riformista with journalist Lucetta Scaraffia claiming that the minister was “behaving like a man, and forgetting to be a woman.”

A second journalist and TV producer Giovanni Minoli wrote an article in the same paper further criticising the female defence minister.

“I do not agree with her theatrical trip to Afghanistan, ‘sold’ as a symbol of conquest and modernity,” said Minoli, a journalist and director of state-run TV station RAI Educational.

Minoli said that it would have been better and more “culturally innovative” if Chacon had sought and obtained leave from executive office for at least 10 months.

He said this would have allowed her to breastfeed the baby calmly and give her time to gradually resume her ministerial duties.


Last week Spain’s Defence Minister, Carme Chacon, at 7 months pregnant, met with Spanish troops in Afghanistan. (Independent)

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