In every sphere of life people find something they disagree with. Such disagreement may be based on their own opinion or belief that something is wrong and unfair (subjective point of view), or it can be based on facts (objective point of view). Despite of the fact that armed forces has a very clear and accurate structure, barring any possible violation of the rules of behaviour, there are cases, when some people are mistreated or treated unequally as compared to the others. Though it may happen among male part of the military, more often it happens when women are trying to occupy the same positions as men do. And Air Force is not an exception at this point.
The main goal of this paper is to discuss the problem, stating that “Things aren’t really equal between men and women in the military!” The paper will focus on the problems of women in the military and offer a recommendation of what should be done to solve the existing problem.
Different number of women serves in military in different countries, which is conditioned on existing legislation in these countries. The problem lies not only in the amount of women serving in the army, but also in the way they are treated while being a part of the military. Variation between the countries is significant, “ranging from an almost total absence, rank limitations, segregated training and severe functional restrictions, to relatively open career patterns, full integrated training and access to combat roles, is due to complex constellations of factors that in each case have differently affected policies and practices” . Though it is announced that women would have the same career opportunities as men, in reality it is not really so. According to NATO researches conducted in the countries-participants of NATO: “more than two thirds (70%) of military women are concentrated in support (personnel/ administration/logistics) and medical functions, 17,5% in technical areas (engineering, communications) and only 7% occupy positions in the more operational areas in combat arms (artillery, infantry, cavalry)” . It is clear that such proportions of women in support evidences that inequality between men and women in the military does exist. Why does it happen? For centuries, women have been fighting for their independency and opportunity to have equal right with men, however, at the beginning or the 21st century the problem of gender inequality continues to exist. It is even more bitter to realize, that this problem exist in the army. Indeed, some of the branches of U.S. Armed Forces, including Air Force “continue to maintain policies based on sex and presumed sex differences that constrain opportunities for women to distinguish themselves and to gain promotion” . The problem of gender inequality in military is also worsened by the cases of sexual assaults against women in the army. Being afraid to be dishonoured by the rumor spread by their fellow men, women agree to have sex with them, and then keep silence about it. Such a problem, has “resulted in women leaving the service, giving up their aspirations for a military career and frequently experiencing difficulties recovering from the trauma” .
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In my opinion, government should immediately address the problems of women in the U.S. military, because it is the violation of their basic human rights, which disparages the dignity of women. Such situation is impermissible and government has to understand it. For this reason, it is necessary to conduct a full investigation on the cases of sexual assault and rank limitations concerning women serving in the military. Those, who violated the laws, should be punished by expelling from the armed forces, so that no similar cases repeat in the future. It is very hard for women to become pilots and become a part of the U.S. Air Force, thus, women should be granted a greater opportunity to serve in the Air Force. Of course inequality of men and women is somewhat predetermined by the nature, however, women have the right to try to do what they like. A lot of women have already “challenged age-old stereotypes about women not being effective members of the armed forces” , but they need more support from the side of the government and military officials. All of the limitations existing in the modern armed forces “generate an artificial obstacle to the advancement of women in the military, affecting rank, pay and lifetime career expectations” , which is totally unfair. If a woman is not given a chance to try herself in any kind of career, why does she have to agree to lower pay or rank? Women, who serve in the Air Force nowadays and constitute 12.2% of the total amount, are convinced that they shouldn’t agree to unequal conditions. In contrast they should strive for the equality in military.
Bibliography Carreiras, H. (2002). Gender Integration in the Armed Forces: A Cross National Comparison of Policies and Practices in NATO Countries. Retrieved January 7, 2007 from www.nato.int/ims/2002/cwinf2002/cwinf-02.htm Report on Women’s Human Rights in the United States under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 2006. Retrieved January 7, 2007 from www.nowfoundation.org/issues/economic/GenderShadowReport.pdf