Czech Army Appoints Its First Woman to Rank of General

If the promotion is approved by the president, fifty-two-year-old Lenka Šmerdová will be the first woman ever to receive the title

The Czech cabinet convened this week to approve the appointment of four generals to the Czech army, including Colonel Lenka Šmerdová, who would be the first woman to receive the rank in the history of the country.

If President Miloš Zeman accepts the proposal of the Ministry of Defense, Šmerdová, 52, would be promoted on May 8, according to a report in today’s iDnes.cz.

“We are a country with a large representation of women in the military. It is therefore high time to have the first female general,” said Defense Minister Martin Stropnický (ANO) in a press release yesterday. 

Šmerdová currently advises the Chief of Staff Josefa Bečvář; she was previously director of the Department of the Army Recruitment for the Czech Republic.

When Šmerdová was promoted to Czech army colonel 10 years ago, she said: “A woman must always be a little bit better than a man for the army to confirm her quality.”

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The Czech Republic has long had a high proportion of women in the military, ranking fifth place in NATO with almost 3,000 enlisted women making up about 13 percent of the country’s armed forces.


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