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Dear Friends, 

This newsletter will tackle the complex issue of gender equality in the military world. Our very own IDF is a wonderful and dynamic example and model of how to integrate women into the military, and armies around the world have been inspired to adopt similar practices. We are immensely proud of the IDF in how women's roles are constantly being discussed and redefined in order to accommodate the Israeli society and security reality. 

We hope that this newsletter can shed some light on the complex reality of gender equality in the military, and help you understand some of the incredible IDF practices promotingn the status of women in the military. 

With warm WIZO regards,

Janine Gelley
Chairperson, Organization, Tourism and Aviv Division 
World WIZO
פרויקט מנהיגות נשית - סיפורה של מיכל ברקאי מקימת מכינת עלמה
Fantastic pre-military program for young women from the periphery of Israel created by Michal Barkai Brody, a graduate of WIZO's women's leadership program

Gender Equality in the IDF in the Past and Today

The IDF is at the forefront of promoting gender equality and the inclusion of women in the military. Other countries are learning from the Israeli experience of how to effectively incorporate more women into their armed forces, which are mostly dominated my men. Also historically, Israel has been the leading example of gender equality in the military, since the days before Israel's establishment, through the creation of the IDF by David ben Gurion, and continuously developing over time. However, women's role in the IDF has also sparked heated debate within the Israeli public and political spheres, revealing the rift in Israeli society regarding the gender issue. Read more...

From Myth to Reality: Empowering Female Leadership in the IDF

The recently launched Women's Leadership Program for outstanding officers in the IDF's Technology Units is a joint venture between WIZO Israel's Division for the Status of Women and the Headquarters of the Women's Affairs Advisor to the IDF Chief of Staff. This innovative program aims to empower female officers in mid-level positions who want to combine career and family, and equips them with the tools to face this challenge head-on. Read more...

Israeli Army Rebuffs Hostility to Women in Combat Roles 

While the IDF is investigating new ways of including women into combat units, rabbis and senior officials are criticizing the initiative. More precicely, the IDF seeks to open more positions for women in the armored corps, including tank crews, and is meeting strong resistance from more conservative and religious voices. The IDF spokesman responded on his Facebook page with the following words: “the IDF is the people’s army, and women are part of this nation". In the past few years, the IDF has opened several positions to women, which has proven to be very successful, allowing the army to benefit from all its draftees. Read more...

The Political Correctness of Women in Combat 

After four young women recently graduated the IDF's Ground Forces Officers Course, it highlighted the strong intention of the IDF to eventually integrate women into all combat units. The IDF is also starting a new program investigating how women can best serve in combat roles. If successful, women will be able to serve in all combat units (except Special Forces). These recent efforts to further integrate women into combat roles come after the recent wave of "lone wolf" Palestinian terror attacks, where female security forces in the Border Police have proven to be extremely competent and courageous. Read more...

When Women Lead Solders Into Battle  

In the US, women are standing to take command of combat forces for the first time in history. Until December 2015, women were banned from ground combat units in the US military. This new development has also led to a significant increase in female occupation of some of the highest ranked military positions, and it is very likely that a woman will soon become America's first Commander in Chief. As stated in the video attached to this article, "It is not about male or female, it's about the right person for the right job". Read more...
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As always, we welcome your comments as well as feedback on news and features you'd like to see included in our newsletter. To reply please click here...
Compiled by World WIZO Organization & Tourism Division
Editor-in-chief: Janine Gelley, Chairperson
Co-editors: Dina Lewinsky & Raquel Dar
Copyright © 2014 World WIZO Organization & Tourism Division, All rights reserved.

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