- Feyisayo Anjorin
- South Africa
Freelance Director, Afro-Carribean Media Group
Women in combat?
President Truman's signing of the Women's Armed Services Act gave women permanent status in the army; and President Johnson (in 1967) made it possible for women to advance to top positions.
The issue is not whether women should be soldiers, but whether they should be allowed in combat.
Our society strives for gender equality; qualified women are as brave and effective as their male counterparts and since combat experience is neccessary for advancement, it is discriminatory to exclude women officers. And not forgetting the fact that many women want to serve their country in combat; and if they qualify, it would be unfair to exclude them.
Now, consider men who would work with the women; the natural chivalry and the tendency to protect may cause distraction in battle. Women POWs are in greater danger of being raped; threats or violence against female POWs could become a weapon in the hands of enemy forces, wearing down the resistance of male POWs.
Some believe that most women may not be able to carry the heavy backpack and weapons; and that lowering standards to accomodate more women would diminish the effectiveness of the army.
What do you think?