Should women be in combat? Because there are not many proponents, the opposition may ultimately win out. Regrettably, no matter which side of the argument you are on, there has never been an agreement on this age-old disagreement.
But, given some of their flaws, women serving in the military are in a riskier position than men. Putting feminism aside, many things need to be taken into account when it comes to women. But the love of one’s nation and the desire to serve it selflessly have nothing to do with gender. Below is an overview of the advantages and challenges of women in the military;
Advantages of Women in the Military
1. Access to education:
When women join the military, they will be provided with the resources they need to pursue education even though they ordinarily wouldn’t be able to. The GI Bill will guarantee that they would receive money to pay for secondary education while also working. So, women can work as well as attend school. Military service comes with a lot of rewards and benefits that women will find helpful and useful.
2. Better chances of leading a great career:
Let’s say you no longer want to extend your military contract and would rather look for alternative work. Be aware that your prospects of employment are extremely good. This is because military training equips you with traits and abilities that are very desirable to companies. After all, being in the military requires a high level of discipline.
This means you’ll be able to finish the duties you’ve been given quickly. You wouldn’t procrastinate and arrive at work late. You are equipped to handle any kind of work, even the most demanding. It’s sufficient to remark that you’re a nearly ideal employee. Your application will be far more appealing if you put your time in the military among your previous employment experiences.
3. Showcase their skills in combat:
Didn’t they say that what men can do women can do better? The military and other departments of the government are only now starting to realize that being a man does not automatically make one a better soldier. In light of this, women who want to demonstrate that they are just as capable of fighting as men would adore serving in the military, despite the physical and emotional strain it involves.
4. Military readiness:
Maintaining a mixed-gender force helps the military remain effective. The declining retention and recruitment rates are a major concern for the all-volunteer forces. Expanding the application pool for all positions will result in more enthusiastic hires. Women who voluntarily enlist in the military as active combatants are less likely to avoid their responsibilities by getting pregnant after being called up.
5. An opportunity to reach their dreams:
The time when males did all the labor-intensive jobs while leaving women at home is long past. Some women have aspirations to demonstrate their patriotism by serving their nation, and the military gives them an equal playing field to do so. After all, America is the “home of the brave” and “the land of the free.” And it would be against this belief to exclude women from military service.
6. Disadvantages are being addressed:
Women who join the military are well aware that they shouldn’t become pregnant because it can affect their ability to do their duties. This implies that women would pay closer attention to their combat duties. If other women in the workforce can hold off pregnancy plans, so can women in combat.
There is also the question of whether or not women will approach their jobs with the same professionalism as males. They would have been permanently barred from the service if they hadn’t. Women can be brave when necessary, despite the occasional emotional outburst that may occur. Men in the military may also endure physical and sexual abuse. Some folks are merely fortunate.
7. Cultural differences and demographics:
In some situations, women are more productive than men. By allowing women to serve, the talent pool for delicate and sensitive occupations that demand interpersonal skills—which not all soldiers possess—will be multiplied by two. The military can employ the best and most diplomatic soldiers to put an end to hostilities more rapidly when they have a larger pool of individuals.
Challenges of Women in the Military
1. Lack of physical ability:
One of the main arguments put up by opponents to show why women shouldn’t serve in the military has always been their physical ability. Indeed, a lady who weighs 110 pounds and is 5 feet tall would not be able to carry as many responsibilities as a man twice her height. Even running faster than a man this huge would require significant effort. Giving women preferential treatment is also foolish because military regulations apply to everyone equally and without regard for gender. However, doing so might cause division within a group.
2. Risk of sexual abuse:
It has been shown that some military women have experienced peer and intra-unit abuse. If they are captured and subsequently exposed to mistreatment by their enemies, things could get even worse. Some women might be designed to withstand any form of torture, but others might not be. When women are captured by enemies, in addition to the horrific physical brutality that prisoners of war frequently endure, they frequently also endure sexual abuse. But, today’s enemies are capable of abusing even male soldiers sexually.
3. Lack of family balance:
Children who grow up without a mother may experience more negative effects than those who do not have a father. This makes it extremely challenging for women and mothers in combat. Those serving women who become pregnant while on duty would likewise have to part ways with their fellow soldiers.
In either case, most women find it difficult to strike a balance between home obligations and military service. Their performance might be affected if they returned to work after giving birth. Some women may even have PTSD that is more severe than men, but nothing they can handle with the right support and treatment. Women, after all, are better able than men to deal with negative emotions like despair.
4. Unit morale and cohesion:
The inclusion of women in direct combat will undermine unit morale and cohesion, which will reduce mission efficacy.
In conclusion, the inclusion of women in the military has brought about significant advantages and challenges. Women have proved their mettle in combat and leadership roles and have contributed to the overall success of the military. However, women still face obstacles like gender discrimination, lack of support, and harassment, which can hinder their progress in the military.
Addressing these challenges will require a collaborative effort from military leaders, policymakers, and society as a whole. It is crucial that women’s contributions are recognized, and they are provided with equal opportunities to serve their country. Ultimately, it is the diversity and inclusion of all individuals in the military that will strengthen the armed forces and uphold the values they represent.