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Over the years, women have faced numerous challenges while serving the military. Military service demands for ultimate obedience to senior officers. The higher ranks are male dominated and over time posing a challenge to women who occupy junior positions. In the military men, mishandle women without acknowledging the fact that they are entitled to equal rights and fair treatment like men.
In war most women are not treated as military officers, most of the women assume the support roles. The few women who were military police it was an uphill task to assume the leadership roles. Men, both officers and sergeants, openly make insulting remarks to women. Moreover, the men watch pornographic films and read pornographic materials openly. This is quite offensive to women since most of them would feel uncomfortable in such an environment. Additionally, women often feel insecure in the military base. For instance for the women soldiers deployed to Kuwait felt they were not safe in their military base. This is because there were a number of restrictions made on women and most of them were sexually assaulted and harassed.
Notably, women officers are assigned jobs that they never specialized in during their training. For instance, a medic in the medicine department would be involuntarily moved to the Military police unit. The same happens to soldiers in the kitchen department and the admin personnel. It is also clear that the government is not careful in implementing its policy of equal education opportunities to all. The military administration was not careful in seeing that the lessons acquired in class were put in practice. Most of the teachings were never seen to be in the military. For instance, the soldiers were thought on the moral values as a soldier and how they should treat one another in line of duty. Surprisingly, the behavior of men towards women was not in accordance to the teachings.
Sexual harassment was a key challenge for the women. The harassment is first experienced in the academy. Female cadets often face hostility and go through seductions by the senior officers. Recent research reveals that over 70% of women in active duty are sexually harassed. The most common form of sexual harassment in the military is rape. For instance, in Iraq most women faced sexual harassment from fellow soldiers and their seniors. This made them start walking in groups even when going to the bathrooms to avoid cases of being raped. The research also reveals that women are not accorded the treatment they deserve. Most of those raped are not given proper medical care or counseling to help them get rid of the trauma associated with the inhumane act.
Notably, the military administration is often not keen to address the challenges facing women in the military. Even after the rape cases, the raped women pay expensive medical fees to treat them and abort the baby. This makes the military women to live in fear and feel inferior. It is also disturbing to note that most women who launch complaints are told not make an official communication. Those in authority argue that any communication would lead to family breakups, the claims will lack evidence and that those women who launch complaints are punished for giving falsified information. This discourages those women who have been sexually harassed from launching com plaints since any communication would do them more harm than good. For those women who have successfully launched complaints against their male counter parts they argue that little is done to the men in case they are guilty of such an offence. Most of the women who are sexually harassed are left to continue working around those men who harassed them. This affects them psychologically hence making them unable to serve the military with inner peace.
Women soldiers are also exposed to sex discrimination. They form a small percentage of the total numbers in the military. It is hard for a female soldier to raise ranks in the army. For that e who wishes to get senior posts are forced to make immense sacrifices that affect their personal life. Most of them remain unmarried hence do not have a family. The unmarried soldiers choose to adopt children instead of bearing their own. Some have to make sexual favors to the superiors in order to gain a higher rank. This exposes most of them to unplanned pregnancies and diseases acquired through sexual intercourse.
Women in the military in the past have been denied equal opportunities like the men. For instance, some of the educational programs are given only to men since they dominate the senior ranks. This makes it hard for any woman to understand the management roles in the army. Additionally, women lack equal protection and benefits. For example, troops deployed to Iraq were characterized by sex discrimination and sexual harassment. The women soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait lacked enough protection from the senior officers hence some of them were raped and mishandled. Notably, most of the women were assigned duties outside their specialization involuntarily.
It is therefore essential for those in authority to address the unfair treatment of women in the military. There is a need for both women and men serving the military to feel secure and find the military job as a good job for both genders as opposed to perceiving the military as a place of exciting injustice and unfairness. Since both the superiors and the sergeants carry out unfair treatment of women, there is the need to first weed out those in service who do not believe in equality. This is because it is difficult to do away with a problem by proposing policies but there is no one to implement them. All the top officials in the military must be people who understand the law and abide by it. They should be people who acknowledge the importance of equity to all. Therefore, there is a need to vet those heading the military before proposing policies for implementation.
After having a clean top governance team, there is the importance of the law to outline on the rights of female soldiers and subsequent channels to follow in case their rights are violated. The law also needs to outline on the protection rights of the female soldiers to eliminate cases of intimidation from the superiors. We acknowledge the role of the civil society in advocating for the rights of women. There is the need to protect the activists who need to seek clarity from the government on issues concerning the military.
From the study, it is evident that there are many issues pertaining women that are required to be solved. The most influential and most urgent issue to be solved is how to curb sexual harassment of women by their colleagues and superiors. There is the need to ensure that women feel secure in their place of work and feel respected. The senior officers should develop and implement policies that would govern the relationship between women and male soldiers in the line of duty. Promotion of women to senior positions should be done on merit as opposed to the sexual favors that one gives to a senior officer. There is also the need for setting up a commission to investigate on the issues raised by the women soldiers who served in Iraq and Kuwait. This is with a view to understand the reasons as to why such inhumane acts were committed and bring the culprits to face the rule of law. This will act as a lesson to other senior military officers and sergeants hence act cautiously and respect women in the future. It is also beneficial for the commission set up to make recommendations for any need to adjust the law.
There is also the need for the military commanders to ensure that the policies governing the military are adhered to at all times. For instance, if the law condemns the use of pornographic material, there is a need for all people to abide by the law. There is also need for the senior officials to respect the military laws and not violate them. For instance, military officers should practice in their areas of specialization unless there is an urgent need for change of duty. The top military officials should ensure that proper medical attention has been accorded to all those in service of the army and in an affordable way. Cases of discrimination and denial of the right to speech of women should be abolished. Lastly, recruitment to serve in the army should be fair and the number of women serving in the military should be increased and fair promotions made in order to motivate the women. The terms for the promotions should not be so difficult to achieve since it demoralizes the women form striving to work hard.
We can therefore conclude that generally, women have mistreated while serving the military and there is an urgent need to correct the trend for the benefit of women and for the country in general.