Whether military should allow women to serve in combat roles or not has long remained a topic of heated debate. Earlier women only served as nurses, doctors, laundresses, cook and other administrative positions. They also started offering their services for surveillance and inspection, since long ago.
Allowing women to serve in combat roles and make them fight on front lines has remained an enigma. In past women have been barred from playing crucial parts, mainly due to the stereotypical notions of the gender roles. Unfortunately, gender disparity continues to remain one of the major global risks the world is facing in 2018 according to World Economic Forum report.
Let’s have a detailed overview of arguments in against and favor of women serving in combat roles.
Arguments in Against
- Women are biologically unfit to withstand physiological torture that soldiers are expected to endure on the battlefield and the prison cell.
- Women are more vulnerable to sexual assault and rape in prison cell.
- While pregnant women have to take leave that impact proportion of soldiers available for combat when required.
- It is impossible for women to undergo harsh training for the challenging positions like becoming a navy seal.
- Women can affect the cohesion or effectiveness of the unit, overall.
All the arguments mentioned above are based on the myths around the gender roles. They have to do with the centuries-old traditions that women have to remain confined within territories of their home and men have to go out and work. Perhaps this perception is what leads to the major issues that women are facing nowadays.
Now, let’s have a look at how all the arguments against are baseless and no rule should bar women to serve in combat roles.
Arguments in Favor
- 1. If women are unfit, then same is the case with many men. A military person always starts the training after meeting set criteria. Hence, some women can meet the standard, as happened in case of the first woman navy seal, who made it to the training session for the most stringent military role ever.
- Even men soldiers are vulnerable to sexual assault in prison cells. Women who join the training and willingly want to fight in frontline always have this vulnerability perspective in mind.
- Taking leave can be an issue for men as well for any reason like illness etc. So, ability to become pregnant shouldn’t bar women to serve in any role.
- Well, women have rarely been tested in the most stringent training like navy seals, there is always a chance for dropout irrespective of the gender. Since the position opened to females, one woman also made to the training for navy seals.
- As far as impact on cohesion is concerned, then it is true but not only for military but all the professions.
Verdict for Women to Serve in Combat Roles
Women are human beings; they have desire and passion for going to any extent for defending their country. Hence, the military should allow women to serve in combat roles. After all, there is a set criterion and standard that every candidate has to fulfill. And, gender shouldn’t be that criterion by any means.