‘Short’ women can serve in Spain’s police, says Supreme Court

Spain’s Supreme Court has condemned a “discriminatory” rule banning short women from serving in the country’s police force.

Women who wish to join the National Police Corps must meet the minimum height requirement of 1.60 meters (5.2 ft). At the same time, men must be at least 1.65 meters (5.4 feet) tall.

A young female police candidate has complained to Spain’s highest court after she was fired from the police force in 2017 for being just 6 centimeters shorter.

The plaintiff argued that the rules favored men because only 3% of Spain’s male population did not meet the height requirement, compared to about 25% of Spanish women.

In a statement on Monday, Spain’s top court said height requirements must take into account the average height for each gender.

The average height of Spanish men and women aged 20 to 49 is 1.74 meters and 1.63 meters respectively.

The judges also stated that the National Police did not substantiate their height requirements for candidates.

“There are many functions in the structure of the police that do not require special physical training, let alone high growth,” the court said.

Spanish police have been ordered to hire a female candidate on the condition that she pass the exams and pay her the same as other women who joined in 2017.

In 1979, 42 college-educated women became the first police officers in Spain.

Today, more than 9,000 women are officers, representing 14.8% of the entire police force in Spain.