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Short women can be cops too, Spain’s top court rules

A female police officer stands guard on La Palma Canary Island in Spain.

Spain’s highest court ruled Monday (18 July) in favor of a minimum height requirement for female officers.


A court has ruled in favor of a young lady who was denied her right to take her 2017 selection tests.

A court document states that the requirement “contains an indirect discrimination towards females, compared to men whose required height (1.65m), is less demanding.” The reason is that the Spanish threshold was lower than the threshold of 25%.

The court granted permission to the plaintiff to take her exams and ordered the police to employ the female with the same seniority in 2017 as the 2017 women.

An Imperial College survey found that 19-year-old Spanish men were 1.76m tall and women average 1.62m in height. Spanish men ranked 58th out of 200 territories and countries around the globe, while women ranked 77th.

The court ruled that there was no reason for the national police to restrict access to job-seekers based on their height.


According to the court, the selection process for police officers includes physical and medical tests that ensure candidates are fit enough to do the job.

According to the court, “in the police force, there are many functions that do not require any special physical condition or tall stature.”

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