Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Women in uniform: Israel army

Click on the images to enlarge them.

The complete gallery with images, wallpapers and a screensaver is here.

This site also contains images and other information on women engaged in the military service.

Some facts:

Women now make up about 35% of the Israel army. 80% of military specialties, including combat ones, are open to women. 26% of the Israeli army officers are women, and that number is increasing.

Counsellor for female soldiers at the army joint staff Major General Suzy Yogev believes that "women can occupy any position and perform any work within the army. Currently, they have more opportunities for career growth, and hence greater motivation to serve in combat units. The army of Israel should engage the services of professionals who will be selected based on their qualifications, not on gender. Women are able to handle any work, even serve in the infantry, so all military units will be open for them".

Israel army and gender relationships:

Women's obligatory service in the Israel army is a rule. In the past, even if sexual engagement within the troops was not encouraged, it was certainly not forbidden. For decades it allowed senior officers to seek favours from their young female subordinates.

Miriam Libiki, American author of series of comics and books, served as a volunteer in the Israeli army early in the second antifady. Miriam grew up in a Jewish family from Ohio, her comics are autobiographical - and they, among others, described scenes of sexual harassment in the service of the Israeli army. According to the testimony of many former soldiers, there have been cases of pressure on girls to induce sexual intercourse. But until recently, the army tried to conseal these facts; and some former officers who were later involved in politics or other fields brought their army habits into civilian life.

The situation changed dramatically in the past 10 years. In 1998, the Knesset created a law on sexual harassment which was almost identical to the American one. Shortly after the first evidence of changes appeared - the trial of Yitzhak Mordyhay, former Defence Minister and candidate for the post of Prime Minister. Mordyhay was forced to resign after the charges of rape and sexual harassment from several of his women subordinates.

An information campaign on sexual harassment and its negative consequences for violators was started in the army. Several highly discussed cases, during which high-ranking officers were accused of sexual violence against women soldiers, demonstrated the seriousness of the new campaign. Now recruits receive written information on the nature of the problem, and where to go in case of difficulties, during the course of a young soldier.

Women in the Israel army - slide gallery:

1 comment:

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