Women in Combat Units Women Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

If a standard for mid life career consideration is done, most women will be eliminated. (Loy, 47)

Social Issues

Family life and the natural obligations to the family, between the career and home could be frustrating and tense. This is because one cannot have a 'day off' when the family requires it in the case of a service woman in the Army. Deployment could be at far away places which could result separation and anxiety for the family. The Canadian army employs women in its units ever since the last century. The report is that there are issues of juggling between home and career. "Issues such as child care, spousal employment, and lack of geographic stability, pregnancy leave, and single parenthood are all factors that contribute to the departure of women from the force." (Backgrounder: Women in the Canadian Forces) One of the studies conducted on the issue in Canada suggest that personnel policies must be changes in such a manner that "both women and men can balance the military activity with family responsibilities." (Backgrounder: Women in the Canadian Forces) it can be argued that this is the case also with women surgeons, nurses and many other occupations which require women to be away from home for some time. Thus upon analyzing the performance of combatants in actual combat and comparing these problems it is possible to clear up the issue.

A b) Analyze Data

There are illustrations available on all the issues. For example the issue of sexual harassment has found convincing arguments that it is present and is a cause of women combatants leaving service. Karen D. Davis researching on the reason why women exit from the Canadian Forces found that the reason was the unfavorable attitude in the male dominated army. The research was a qualitative approach was used to explore the relationship between organizational environment and exit among women who left the Canadian Forces after serving more than ten but less than twenty years. The analysis was based on interviews and the results showed that the experience of women in the male dominated army was rather unpleasant. The figures show that in 1992, the number of women in the full-time regular component of the Canadian Forces peaked at over 9,000, comprising approximately 11% of the regular force. In 1995 it went down to 7500 members, and the recent figures show that 0.7% of the workforces have women in service. Most are in the non-operational and medical fields. Thus the combating personnel have a skewed ratio of the genders. (Weinstein; White, 179)

The second issue that women will not stand the hardships of war was proved wrong when women fought in the Persian Gulf War. The war that changed the nature of the question and proved the combat worthiness of women in the war is the Persian Gulf War. The role of women in the war was highlighted by the media and brought issues related to it to the fore. The war was the beginning of changing the laws so that women could be inducted to serving in combat assignments. In 1991 women served in the forward areas. Women in the Marine Corps served in the administrative force. The Persian Gulf War was a determinant in the answer to the question of women in combat. The Persian war saw the deployment of over 35,000 women personnel, the largest in the history of U.S. wars. Women officers served in the front as pilots, repair units and mostly male dominated areas of expertise. This made it clear that women could handle most operations as well as men. (Skaine, 64) the air force deployed 3800 women and the allied nations in the war too participated with women officers. Canada sent 150, and Britain 800 and the war saw two women being taken as prisoners. (Skaine, 65)

The number of deployment is shown by Rosemarie Skaine in table given in the appendix. This also showed that the military also relies more and more on women in combat. The Persian Gulf War, the first major armed conflict for U.S. troops since Vietnam, graphically illustrated that the military had become increasingly dependent on women to respond to a major crisis. The media were filled with pictures and stories of women checking out their gas masks and flack jackets, saying tearful goodbyes to their families, and boarding planes headed for the heat and sand of Saudi Arabia. During the 1983 Operation Fury in Grenada, women constituted 2% of the Army's forces. By 1989 and Operation Just Cause in Panama, the proportion had doubled to 4%. (Weinstein; White, 179)

Now we can agree by analyzing these facts that there exists some issues with regard to employing women in combat units, and that in spite of all these shortcomings and problems, women who were employed in the combat units did do well. The question therefore is not actually must women are inducted into the combat units, but 'what safeguards and basic requirements must be afforded to keep the cohesion of the units with women and see that women are not discriminated against in the units?' Current theory and those concerned in the military issues argue that inducting women in the army in times of terrorism is a great need, especially when the country goes to war at far off regions. These arguments win the debate and answer the question.

Current Issues on the Subject

Kingsley Browne argues against women in combat. His observation is that women should be barred from battleships, to prevent pregnancy and sexual relations. Further women's lack of upper body strength will put the entire crew at risk. The induction of women must be in such posts that will not hamper the efficiency of the Army. The woman combatant is not a theoretical issue, with women flying aircraft and serve on warships. It is claimed that this will create a "gender neutral" military. The principles of arguing against the women combatant is based on the premises drawn from research in anthropology, biology, history, psychology, sociology, and law, as well as military manuals. (Browne, 26)

While the author argued against induction, Martin Binkin argued that in the first place, the physical standards required even for the male combatants are not clear and distinct. There is an established standard for performing the job since the training is over. Therefore the rule must be that if any person meets the prevailing medical standards such persons will also meet the required level of physical fitness. The training will also reveal the individual physical deficiencies. Therefore once a person gets inducted and is trained, it can be positively stated that such persons are physically fit and capable. Another argument that supports induction of women is that today the Army and Marine Corps are not finding enough personnel to fill the units. The conservative people are trying to limit intake of gays and women to contribute towards the efforts of war. There is a war on terrorism going on, and it is likely to continue for a long time. (Binkin, 26)

Under these circumstances, what the "army wants- assign mixed-sex support units to work with combat battalions" must be allowed. (Boot; Kirkpatrick, 7) the Anti-feminist activist Elaine Donnelly said during the Clinton Administration that the government was taking measures to scuttle this policy. The argument that inductions of lesbians and gays "would hurt morale and cohesion" does not have any solid basis. Surveys indicate that serving personnel have no objection in allowing women and other different persons like gays and lesbians and also gave the opinion that they be allowed to serve openly. In the struggle against fanatics every person counts. Therefore the question of women in combat is academic. Women have proved their mettle in the war and hence must be allowed into combat units. (Boot; Kirkpatrick, 7)

In the struggle against the Taliban for example it has been proved that military has found that female soldiers can perform some jobs that men can't, such as searching Iraqi women. It is therefore to be agreed that women have to be employed in the combatant units. The issue to be sorted out is how to create the work norms and other systems to eliminate or minimize most of the shortcomings listed in the issues. To find a solution therefore it is necessary to find solutions to each of the issues.

Identify Possible Solutions to the Issue:

The primary question is why the army needs women in combat roles. Other countries have restrictions on women in combat roles. Thus if the U.S. army was to induct women, there must be a clear reason why. The point made here is that there is no "consistent interpretation on what is expected of the women who join the Army." If the policy is that women must not fight a war, then there is no need to induct them into combat units. (Loy, 50) the first task therefore is that a very clear policy be drawn up that informs the servicewomen…

Cite This Research Proposal:

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