Why We Need Women in the Military

April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018:  Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow women to serve in the military – part of its Vision 2030 economic-reform program – has been widely celebrated as a step forward for gender parity in the notoriously unequal kingdom. In this article, Quratulain Fatima, one of the first women to join the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), discusses her experiences and the hurdles that Saudi women are likely to face as they begin to enlist.

Although women soldiers may find the military environment unwelcoming at times, boosting women’s participation further is becoming increasingly important as the nature of the military’s tasks changes in many regions. Countries are increasingly fighting asymmetric wars against terrorist groups. This demands less outright combat and more effective peacekeeping, through strategic decision-making, intelligence gathering, and civil engagement. Most of the vulnerable population in conflict areas are women and children.

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