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The purpose of this paper is to analyze “Should Women be allowed in Military Combats?”. There have been concerns about women not being physically fit for such jobs. Although, women have shown that they can work in each field by performing and succeeding in every work field, they still are considered unfit for certain jobs. Many girls dream of becoming a Marine or Army person and choose that path for their career and many of them end up accomplishing their aim but despite of reaching to their goal they are not allowed to fight in combats. Just like men, women should be allowed to choose how they want to fight for their country based on their strengths.
There are approximately 15-20% women who are serving in combats. Many countries like US, Canada have stood against gender discrimination and have motivated women to fight in combats. The army has seen an increase in the number of women in combat units, including infantry jobs. But the issue is not just limited to the North America, the whole world needs to understand the problem and support them. Also, there should be physical and mental assessment test and women who qualifies should be allowed to fight in combats, this way the stereotype can be broken.
As a Global Citizen it is our duty to be aware of the problems that affecting the world. Sex Discrimination is a sensitive issue and there has been a lot of debates and protests on this. There is no doubt in that this problem has been addressed and majority of countries have stood against it and helped to eliminate it. Majority of country have formed the laws and have supported the equality in Gender. However, Women in Combats is one of those issues that still need more addressing. Countries including Sweden, Israel and Canada have recently formed the laws and allowed the women in Combats and many other countries are still working on it. Combat duty is usually regarded as necessary for the promotion to senior officer positions, denying female personnel this experience ensures that very few will ever reach the highest reaches of military and so further entrenches sexism (Freeman, 2014). As a Global citizen it is important to understand problems like these and we should try to think the ways that help to eliminate it. Also, we should employ critical thinking and contribute to make a better world for living.
Our group strongly believes that although joining a military combat unity requires meeting high demands but if a person has enlisted and placed in the combat field while passing all the physical demands, then gender should not be an obstacle. If an applicant is qualified for a position, one’s gender is arbitrary. Moreover, allowing the mixed gender force keeps the military strong. The topic “Women in Combats” not only concerns us as a group but also as individuals. It is a worth paying attention issue as one point of our life we can see ourselves, family, friends or neighbors finding this as a problem. Hence, this issue needs more addressing and should be eliminated from our society and make it a better world for living.
Women in combat is a sensitive subject that outrages strong and immediate responses. This topic is more based on deeply held dominant ideologies and stereotypes about gender and the nature of war. Equality for women in combat duty according to the same rules as men, is a troubling idea to many people. However, sex discrimination which is practiced by the military is a serious subject deserving careful thought.
Gender stereotypes are those fixed ideas about women’s and men’s capabilities and attributes and how they should manage that according to their sex. The contradiction between stereotypes of women and the attributes needed for military roles can be disadvantageous if women are lacking the required masculine traits and as holding female attributes that disqualify them from combat assignment.
According to gender stereotypes, women and men are different in many psychological, physical and social dimensions that are related to military performance. Physical differences are the most common justifications for limiting women from combat roles. ‘That the average woman is smaller and weaker than the average male says little about an individual woman’s potential performance in military combat. When given proper training and the opportunity to prove themselves, military women demonstrated the required physical capabilities.’ In addition, ‘in most close combat a gun is the great equalizer”. of physical disparities. Since much of modem combat utilize digital technologies, computers, long-range weapons and advanced electronics, technical specialization became more significant than physical power. In fact, physical abilities stand low among the range of qualities needed by the modem combatant. Moreover, if women lack the physical capabilities required for specific combat role, military should not eliminate all women from all combat duties. In fact, while physical qualifications are examined, both women and men should have the same opportunity to demonstrate the needed physical capability. On the other hand, women’s unique physical features might be an asset. For example, a small and agile female soldier can be easier to maneuver within small area or vehicles which is a useful ability in some frontline positions.
Feminist scholars, including Judith Stiehm (1983) argued that eliminating women from combat can result in an unequal society divided into who are protected and those who protect. Liberal feminists, think that the best way to ensure women’s equal treatment with men is to recognize them equally with men, including the military (Jones 1984).
A second theory proposes that due to psychological differences between genders can lead to restricting women from military. Because women ack the aggressiveness essential to combat and are less combative than men. Generalizations about psychological traits of each gender should not be classifying all women in one group while ignoring specific characteristics. As indicated in the case of physical abilities, even if a specific attribute is more true of the average female or male this only fact cannot be determinative of the capability of any individual. In fact, some women could gain enhanced aggressiveness through indoctrination and training particularly if that attribute were critical in a life or death situation.
There are other underlying power structures that contribute to the subordination of women within the military. These extend beyond the issues of physical capability and psychological reasons it is more related specifically to issues of sexuality and patriarchy embodied in the structures and the practices of the military. Modern military forces are predominately composed of men. Moreover, sexism is a common part of military training and military life. Soldiers are trained to be violent, aggressive, tough and ‘masculine.’ They are trained to deny the feminine characteristics of supportiveness, tenderness and cooperativeness.
Allowing women in combat roles are always confronted by patriarchy, a social structure and an ideology which provides a context and justification for discrimination women.
One of the ideological aspects of patriarchy is the imposition of strict concepts of gender roles. Those conceptions are used to justify discrimination against women.
This socialization of a man to aspire to the characteristics of a ‘right’ soldier is always in contrast to the socialization of woman.
While in a patriarchal system, the hierarchical structure of domination and submission, women must be on the bottom. Proving his ‘manhood’, a man proves that he is not a woman or a child. Therefore, patriarchy and militarism define feminine traits in opposition to masculine ones. If men soldiers are aggressive and brave, then women must be the opposite; tender, weak and need protection. This reinforces the power and the strength of the masculine soldier. The masculinity of war depends on the wrong belief that women should be protected.
Canada is one of the countries with the highest percentage of women who are serving in the military, in the World. Among their allies, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is regarded as a leader in military gender integration. Women can register for any career and serve in any CAF environment. In all industries, male and female CAF were chosen to train, promote, post and all career opportunities in the same way – based on rank, diploma and merit. Women’s participation and contribution to Canadian military history for over 100 years. Except for the service on the submarines that was finally lifted by the Royal Canadian Navy on March 8, 2000, women were present in every industries for 20 years.
After the Ministry reviewed the Royal Committee’s recommendations on Women’s Status, the role of women in CAF began to expand in 1971 in non-traditional areas Operators of vehicles and mechanics, mechanical aircraft, air traffic control, military police and firefighters. The ministry has changed its policy to allow women to serve at sea in additional ships and in a diving bid, with battalions serving the military, in military police platoons and ambulance units, and in most air force squadrons, after the Department reviewed personnel policies in 1978 and 1985, Congress passed the Canadian Human Rights Act and Canada’s Rights and Freedom Charter.
Women who served for the Navy, the Army and the Air Force suffered many difficulties when serving Canada in the last century. But their valuable qualities opened up opportunities for many women to participate. These women have encountered many obstacles when entering the traditional arena of a man. After all, they overcame everything and proved that they could successfully complete all men’s work if they had the opportunity.
It is believed that men and women are physiologically as well as physically different. Also, it is believed that men can handle more weight on their body than women which means men in any way physically strong than women. But most of the Americans cannot meet the standard eligibility to join the military. Therefore, standards are applied individually. If someone is able is to fulfill the requirements of the military, then he or she should be allowed to serve for the nation. This kind of job selection should be based on the standards or one’s capability not on the gender inequality.
There are almost 16 countries that allow women in combat roles. In U.S. women have been in military since 2001 and at least 88 women died since then. Canada comprise up to 15% of women in the Canadian fighting force. In Afghanistan, 7% of women represent themselves in combat roles. The United Kingdom does not allow women on the frontline in military. Only one in 10 members of U.K armed forces is women that are more likely to serve as supportive rather than the operational roles such as nurses, cooks, couriers and laundry workers. Moreover, there was no female in World war 1. In the second world war there was more than 35,000 women in the war. America was the first country which allowed women in combat units.
One of the major complexities for the women who wants to join the combat units is they need separate living places than men to avoid the sexual crimes. Sexual assault includes the rape and other forms of unwanted sexual contact. A study shows that there are more than 2500 sexual assault cases reported in armed services and these cases increased by 50% in further two years. Another concern is regarding physical strength of men and women. It is said that women possess less muscle strength than men. Women have less lifting ability because of their lighter bones and also women are more prone to injuries. Only few women are able to complete the training courses of combat units. The other complexity that become obstacle in between women and their dream of serving as combat roles is romantic relationship between men and women that can disrupt their fighting capability.
The military has a great influence on the society that discriminatory conducts are accepted and sanctioned in the military, the actions towards women equality in our society became more difficult. Improving women’s opportunities within the military is a change that still can be made. Women exclusion from combat should not be accepted. The benefits will extend beyond the military, women will gain new opportunities for education, building new skills and employment.
Additionally, society at large will further evolve toward full recognition of women’s abilities to define their own life roles. Equality within the military would allow women greater involvement and responsibility both within and outside the military, in war and in peace. Women should be allowed to serve in combat roles. There has been concerns about women not being physically fit for such a job, but stereotypes can be broken by just allowing those women who qualifies and prove their physical or mental level for this job. Women in the military are just as capable as any man. If one person decides to enlist and be placed in the combat field while passing all the physical demands, then gender should not be an obstacle.
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