The interior ministry said in a statement it had appointed Maria Gamez, formerly the central government representative in the southern province of Malaga, as the “first woman” a the helm of the 80,000-strong Guardia Civil force.
Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in office since June 2018, has made feminism and the promotion of women to positions of power a cornerstone of his policies.
“In 1988 women were allowed to join the Guardia Civil, now nearly 6,000 woman are part of this institution. Today, over 30 years later, a woman will be its director general. We can continue to advance towards real equality. Congratulations Maria!,” he tweeted after his cabinet approved Gamez's nomination.
Sanchez, who was sworn in for a second term earlier this Monday, appointed a 22-member cabinet which has an equal number of men and women.
Three of his four deputies are women and females occupy key posts such as industry, foreign affairs and the economy.
The Guardia Civil mainly patrols rural areas and investigates crimes there while Spain's National Police focuses on urban areas.