Female soldiers in US army face rampant sexism and harassment

Russell Lee Klika/Flickr: The U.S. Army Special Operations Command's cultural support programme prepares all-female team to serve as enablers supporting Army special operations, 2011
August 25, 2023

The US Army’s Special Operations Command has published results of a survey conducted across 5000 serving military, that confirms female soldiers who take part in special combat operations face sexism and harassment from male colleagues.

Barriers to promotion and acceptance as equals in special operations that were cited by women soldiers included poor-fitting and inadequate equipment, sexism and isolation.

As one female soldier put it, “I have to work hard to prove my excellence, while men have to work hard to prove their mediocrity.”

While many male soldiers said female soldiers were respected, the numbers dipped when they were asked if a woman soldier has equal skills to male counterparts.  One male soldier commented that women applying to take part in special operation assignments “are looking for a husband, boyfriend or attention.”

Women comprise nearly 8% of the 29,000 active duty soldiers, and only a small number of those women are in operational jobs with special operations teams such as the Green Berets and the Ranger Regiment.

The report makes over forty recommendations that include increased training to raise awareness of sexual harassment, and improving supply of suitably sized protective uniform and equipment.  

To see the full story, see here

To read the full report, see here

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