Vlada republike SrbijeGovernment of the Republic of Serbia


Women are Fighters

Published 08.09.2017.

Потпуковница Светлана Јанковићvnica Svetlana JankovićWritten by: Milana Lazić

(…) Lieutenant Colonel Svetlana Janković was among those women who applied for a voluntary term of military service, namely for the six-month variant that covers the school for reserve officer. To this date, Svetlana is the only high-ranked woman in the Morava County. (…)

The most important thing for her was to be a good officer, meaning: good organization, physical fitness, loyalty, innovation. The key factor in deciding to be a professional soldier was precisely the professionalism and organization of the defence system. (…) After completing her term of service, Svetlana became a lieutenant colonel in reserve in the territorial defence headquarters of the city of Čačak and enrolled and completed the Faculty for General People’s Defence and Social Self-Protection (author’s note: today’s Faculty of Security). She always passed all her exams in June because, as she says, she had no intention of gifting her summers to the faculty and studying. (…)

After completing her studies, Svetlana spent three years applying without success to every open post in the army. However, she believes that no one wanted to hire her, because she is a woman. In the meantime, during the summer she worked as platoon commander in pre-military training for men and women in Čačak and Gornji Milanovac. “That’s when I realized there are differences in the approach. And one thing that did not change to this days is that if you have the right approach – it makes no difference if you are a man or a woman. Because I was an only child, and my mother always taught me to be diligent and orderly, I did not find it hard to take up a role in a men’s world. I think that upbringing means a lot.” (…)

Thirty four years after saying her oath and putting on the uniform, lieutenant colonel Svetlana Janković says that the fact that she is a woman, and as of 24 years ago, a mother, helped her a lot to see her colleagues, the soldiers, as brothers and sons, particularly during the time she was in command and in the position of a supervising officer. “The gender dimension is like a moving train. Today, I see things changing in the minds of people, yet in the past I never thought about these things from a gender perspective and I am proud to have taught my son these values, because it would be in vain if I hadn’t transmitted them to him.” (…)

With all this experience, the message the lieutenant colonel has for other women is: “Women must stop to be disunited and need to realize that only united can they make this synergy an engine of change. Quantity, such as 50% of participation in decision making, means nothing unless those 50% are transformed into decision making quality. Therefore, we should all start acting in a preventive manner, from the beginnings and the causes of things, not correcting consequences. We can only change the world by changing ourselves. All goals are achievable.”

There are many professional and capable people in the category of women. If something needs to be done, it should not be done in a superficial manner, but with professionalism and dedication. For example, lieutenant colonel Svetlana Janković was the first and only female officer in the transport service. At age 52 she started playing tennis, while at 53 she enrolled in PhD studies. The topic of her dissertation is in regards to the impact of international factors in the gender equality of the security system – the case of the Republic of Serbia.


The text in its entirety can be found here.




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