Though many people are fine with putting women in the military, there are also a number of those who argue defending the military policy that bans women from taking combat roles. On our end, it is best to look into the key arguments in support and against enlisting women into combat units.
List of Pros of Women in Combat
1. It can strengthen military readiness.
By allowing a mixed-gender force, it is believed that we can keep the military strong, considering that all-volunteer forces are facing the problem of falling recruitment and retention rates. Widening the applicant pool for the Armed Forces by allowing women to join guarantees more willing recruits, where they can become active combat soldiers.
2. It recruits qualified women.
As long as a woman applicant is qualified for a position, gender would be arbitrary. It can be easy to recruit and deploy women who are in better shape than other men to send into combat, especially when recruitment and training standards are to be calibrated for them. You see, in modern technology, expertise and decision-making, which are attributes of women, in the battlefield are increasingly more valuable than brute strength.
3. It fills in the gap for cultural and demographic differences.
Women have been observed to be more effective in some situations than men, which mean that allowing women to serve would double the talent pool for critical jobs requiring interpersonal skills that not all male soldiers have. This is believed to allow the military to gain the best diplomatic soldiers working to quickly end conflicts.
List of Cons of Women in Combat
1. It comes with risks in terms of physical ability.
Though jobs in the military are equally open to men and women, there are just some positions where women are not physically suited. Aside from this, combat units engage in operations that are originally designed for men’s capabilities, so women who would serve in these integrated units would contribute to higher injury rates.
2. It could lead to lack of efficiency.
While some women will be able to meet the standards, a handful will not. While it is possible to integrate a few qualified women into combat, this small number versus the overall costs associated with their enlistment would not make it financially-wise move.
3. It comes with issues of tradition.
Men would maintain traditional gender roles, and in certain situations, they might act foolishly to protect the opposite gender in their combat units. You see, there have been cases where harassment and resentment against women in the highly masculine military force subculture were certainly a problem.
4. It risks women’s natural vulnerability.
Pregnancy can affect the deployment of a combat unit, especially when it has a disproportionate number of females in it. Aside from this, women (even men) are at risk of torture and rape.
So, should we enlist women in combat? Unfortunately, this long-standing argument has never ceased to end between proponents and opponents. Feminism aside, there are truly plenty of factors to be considered concerning women in combat. Now, what do you think?
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.