Women in the military have a history that extends over 400 years into the past, throughout a large number of cultures and nations. Women have played many roles in the military, from ancient warrior women, to the women currently serving in conflicts, even though the vast majority of all combatants have been men in every culture.
Even though women serving in the military has often been controversial, relatively few women in history have fought alongside men. In the American Civil War, there were a few women who cross-dressed as men in order to fight. Fighting on the battle front as men was not the only way women involved themselves in war. Some women braved the battlefront as nurses and aides.
Despite various, though limited, roles in the armies of past societies, the role of women in the military, particularly in combat, is controversial and it is only recently that women have begun to be given a more prominent role in contemporary armed forces. As increasing numbers of countries begin to expand the role of women in their militaries, the debate continues.Peruvian military officer during parade. The queen of Jhansi, Rani Lakshmibai. Medieval depiction of Joan of Arc.Roza Shanina, a Soviet sniper during World War II, credited with 54 confirmed target hits. About 400,000 Soviet women served in front-line duty units, chiefly as medics and nurses.
From the beginning of the 1970s, most Western armies began to admit women to serve active duty. Only some of them permit women to fill active combat roles, these are: New Zealand, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Germany, Norway, Israel, Serbia, Sweden and Switzerland. In 2011 and 2012, the U.S. Defense Department began looking at loosening its near-universal ban on women serving in direct positions of combat, including ground combat, as opposed to other prominent but non-combat positions (for example, two women second lieutenants were allowed to try, but did not successfully complete, the grueling U.S. Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course). In 2013, the United States Armed Forces overturned a 1994 rule banning women from serving in certain combat positions, potentially clearing the way for the presence of women in front-line units and elite commando teams.
Women in the Israeli Defense Forces are female soldiers who serve in the Israel Defense Forces. Israel is the only country in the world with a mandatory military service requirement for women. Women have taken part in Israel’s military before and since the founding of the state in 1948, with women currently comprising 33% of all IDF soldiers and 51% of its officers, fulfilling various roles within the Ground, Navy and Air Forces. The 2000 Equality amendment to the Military Service law states that "The right of women to serve in any role in the IDF is equal to the right of men." As of now, 88% to 92% of all roles in the IDF are open to female candidates, while women can be found in 69% of all positions.
Formerly women conscripts served in the Women's Army Corps, commonly known by its Hebrew acronym, Chen. After a five-week period of basic training they served as clerks, drivers, welfare workers, nurses, radio operators, flight controllers, ordnance personnel, and course instructors.
Reuters | By Amie Ferris-Rotman Posted: 06/13/2013 2:59 pm EDT | Updated: 06/13/2013 2:59 pm EDT
The Israeli military said Sunday that it has disciplined a group of female soldiers who posed on their base for provocative photos in underwear and posted the images on Facebook.
The incident was the latest in a string of episodes involving young Israeli soldiers on social media that have drawn reprimand from the military.