Friday, June 18, 2010

21th century woman goes to war!

Armies all over the world are starting more and more to include women in their army troops. In the beginning they served mainly in medical services, but today they are serving as combat pilots, military police officers and even generals. Experts are indicating that they are best as war negotiators and intel agents.

Although the military service is considered as men’s occupation, more and more women are applying for military service. Until 20th century, women did part-take in wars, but they generally weren’t directly involved in bloody battles like today. Their jobs were mainly administration volunteering and helping out in medical services.

American army today has most women soldiers, more than 356 000, or 16% of all count. In 2009, 57 women in American army had the rank of a general or admiral, which is twice the number from 1999.

At the end of war in Vietnam, America was faced with breaking of all illusions and lack of men’s interest for the army. The real breakthrough occurred in 1973 when voluntary units were formed. Pretty soon women made it to the West Point, and other academies. Today, they are present in all ranks of army and American air-force has even women as combat pilots. Nevertheless, until 2001, no woman was located on the first lines of combat, but military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq changed a great deal of things. Doctor John A. Nagl, president of a Center for a New American Security, is stating that USA would not be able at all to fight in these wars if women weren’t present there.

Combats in Iraq demanded a completely different approach. The commanders were forced the erase any sex limitations. According to Peter R. Mansoor, retired colonel, the war in Iraq caused a complete integration of women in the army, they now gained confidence and respect from their men colleagues. According to regulations, they are not serving in infantry, but they are participating in wars in armor, special and artillery units.

From 121 women that were killed in Iraq, 66 were killed in combat, and the others died in accidents, by suicide and because of illness. So far, 620 were wounded in Iraq.

In November 2008, Ann E. Dunwoody was the first woman in U.S. history and uniformed service history to achieve a four-star officer grade of a general, which is a highest grade anyone can achieve in the U.S. army. Last year two women were awarded with the silver star, and the researches have showed that a great deal of women were awarded with medals of honor.

However, active involvement of women in the army and on the battle field didn’t occurred without some problems. Besides facing sex discrimination, one of the biggest problems was raping by fellows soldiers. Every third woman who participated in a war mission was raped, while 99% of them were at least once a subject of harassment. According to the research conducted in the American armed forces, women soldiers in Iraq were more afraid of people they shared food with, then the Taliban’s.

British colonel Simon Wendler says that women are necessary for many military specialties because of their characteristic and social personalities, observation abilities and better organized minds.

“They are great as commissaries, radio connection maintainers, logistics, negotiators and military police officers. 20% of British military police officers are women” – says Wendler.  He underlines that there is no place for army feminization story.  Actually, the place where most experts places the soft gender is the function of a negotiator, a person who creates, which means that in conditions of interchanged safety of world, on key position should be brought persons who will be able to apply “soft power” to either prevent or calm down conflicts.

The Bulgarian army, which, until the end of 1980s, was hardly opened to women, today counts around 2000 women in the army, and it sends them to peaceful missions. Like most of Scandinavians, the Swedish have allowed their women to become real troops. The Norwegians have, for example, become the first ones who allowed women to serve in submarines, but also in all other ranks. The French have, since 1970s ,equalized women troops with men troops but until 1980s they didn’t make any serious steps toward better integration of women in the troops. The French women are participating in peaceful mission today. The Belgian women have entered the army in 1970s but they are present today only as 7% and they serve mainly as logistic back-up or in the administration. Spain started with women recruiting in 1988 while Portugal did it in 1992. Although Portuguese women can officially apply for all ranks, in reality they are unable to become marines or any other special force. Greece has opened army doors for women in 1979 but military high schools were closed for them all the way until 1990. Greek women even today have limited access to troops and military schools. Not until 2000 the first Greek woman served in the navy. While in Poland women served for a long time inclusively as medical officers, in Czech Republic and Hungary this process has advanced. Nevertheless, women in the army of these counties are mainly tasked with traditional roles. In Romania one woman has even a rank of a general.

A country that could brag about real women warriors is Israel, where women are obligated to serve in the army. With the measures that are introduced two years ago, women have the option to train in all military units, and even in commandos. In this country, military obligation for men is three years while for women is two years. Until several years ago they were mainly tasked with administrative jobs, but there existed even tank instructors, military police officers, technicians and rescuers.

Some facts:

#Due to huge interest of visitors for Muammar el-Gaddafi's bodyguards, here is a link to 14 additional photos of his protective female bodyguards#

#You can also check this cool video on You Tube#

Since 1969 when he took over Libya, the safety of Muammar el-Gaddafi is in hands of his female bodyguards. How important to him they are he showed by founding the first female military academy. With this he showed the whole world that they are just as equal and good bodyguards as men. Vatican is also more and more prone that their bodyguard unit be consisted from women. In fact, the Swiss guard which is in charge of Pope's safety is consisted mainly from young Swiss Catholics, age 19-30. Although there are many obstacles for soft gender to enter in this famous service, like to small space, and inability to place women in separate rooms for dressing and hygiene, this decision is still under reconsideration. There exist a theory that woman bodyguard is preferred in VIP security, because snipers, no matter how trained, are hesitating to pull a trigger on a female bodyguard and that they need extra 5 seconds to do it.

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1 comments: on "21th century woman goes to war!"

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