The Best Defense? How About More Women In The Military?

According to this Forbes magazine article: “there are 21 female defence ministers across 159 countries with militaries. That’s 13% including seven of 30 NATO countries. Women control many of the biggest defense budgets in Europe.”

The author identifies three change initiatives underway in different armed forces around the world:

1.   United Kingdom: A ‘gender blind’ approach where women are willing to become as much like men as possible or be cast in stereotypically female roles. No accommodation is made to women’s differences, and they must reach the same standards.  

2.   Norway: An ‘integration’ approach that recognizes and accepts the differences between women and men and addresses them with programs designed for and focused on women rather than on men.
3.   France: The ‘adapt the model’ approach that addresses the issues of personal and professional balance for everyone in the armed forces.

The article also applauds Canada for leading a global push to increase women’s meaningful participation in UN peacekeeping by emphasizing training, recruitment, and retention.

As our defense minister joins these other female defense ministers, do you think she can make change happen for women in our military?

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