Via WSJ: "Women can now serve in the army in mixed units like Caracal, and in positions such as army intelligence and artillery. But roles in the infantry and special forces have remained largely off limits due to the physical requirement of carrying heavy loads. Now, the military plans to test-run women into those kinds of units.
"Other Western militaries are opening up combat roles to women, too. Last year the U.S. military said it would allow women in all such positions. In July, the U.K. said it would also lift a ban on women serving in front-line combat roles. Israel’s shift, however, will have wide implications for a country where military service is mandatory and at the core of the security-conscious society.
(...)"About 20 years ago, Israel’s military became one of the first world-wide to allow females into some combat positions and has since gradually opened 85% of roles to females, including combat roles in the air force, artillery and intelligence. Still, participation of women in combat units remained small until recently. In 2012, 3% of females were in such roles.
"Many Israeli women see combat roles as a springboard to the top echelons of the military, politics and the corporate world. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and many other senior politicians have fought in special forces units.
"“It’s prestigious in Israel to be in a fighting unit,” said Pnina Sharvit Baruch, a senior research associate at Institute for National Security Studies and former colonel in the military’s law department. “It opens up opportunities and women want to be part of that.”
"Not everyone is persuaded the time has come for such changes." Read the article: Israel Grapples With Military’s Plan to Open Combat Roles to Women - Mixed-gender units have been in fire fights, but some object to a wider role for female soldiers. By Rory Jones, Dec. 28, 2016 The Wall Street Journal
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