The IDF is the world’s most female-friendly army according to new numbers compiled by the Manpower Directorate.
34 percent of IDF soldiers are women – a figure unparalleled among other militaries. 57% of all officers are women, 28% of career officers are women, and 92% of all army positions are open to women.
The numbers are of course in large part due to mandatory conscription, yet they are encouraging, especially considering the advancements for women in recent years. For example since 2001 there has been an 8% drop in the numbers of women assigned to secretarial and clerk roles, from 21% to just 13% in 2012.
“We are witnessing an increase in women enlisting as officers, as well as women pursuing careers in the army – especially in the ranks from Captain to Lieutenant Colonel, but we still have a long way to go to reach our potential,” said the Women’s Affairs Advisor to Israel’s Chief of Staff, Brig. Gen. Rachel Tevet-Wiesel.
Speaking at an IDF event Tuesday held in honor of International Women’s Day, Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz encouraged women to take on important roles. “There are numerous opportunities [for young women] to gain practical knowledge, enter the army and influence it – our entire organization would benefit from it,” he said. “I believe in this and I believe in you, just as much as I believe in all those serving in the IDF,” he added.