chapter  5
23 Pages

Gender and military organizations

WithEllen Haring

This chapter analyzes gender and military organizations. National military organizations are quintessentially masculine constructs that are based on bifurcated notions of men as warrior-protectors and women as the protected. These ideas are deeply imbedded in organizational cultures and policies. There is no room in this construct for women who want to join national militaries. The result is that women have faced systemic discrimination and mistreatment in recruitment, training, job opportunities, promotion and retention. Women who have worked in or sought expanded roles in military organizations have often faced harassment and assault. This chapter shows how the main driver of progress for women’s inclusion has been organizational necessity: military organizations have been more open to accepting women when this has been an operational imperative due to wartime and security needs. This chapter concludes by outlining a set of best practices for promoting change and the expansion of women’s participation in military organizations.