Gender Perspectives and Fighting

Authored by: Robert Egnell

Categories: Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Security Sector Reform (SSR)
Region: No Region
Year: 2013
Citation: Egnell, Robert. "Women in Battle: Gender Perspectives and Fighting." Parameters 43, no. 2 (2013): 33-41.

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Many concerns related to women in combat roles stem from two related assumption: (a) the existing structure and culture of the armed forces are well adapted to the requirements of combat; and (b) politically imposed change is harmful to the professionalism and effectiveness of the military. These can be dangerous assumptions. Instead, the traditional “truths” about the nature of unit cohesion and the optimal capabilities of individual soldiers and officers need to be periodically examined. Doing so can maximize the effectiveness of military organizations in a changing environment.