60 Years of Women’s Service in the IDF

The following presentation outlines the role women have taken in the army throughout the history of the Israel Defense Forces. Women have always taken part in Israel’s growing military, from the founding of state in 1948 to the modern army of today. In the contemporary IDF, more and more roles are opening up to women as an increasing amount of units see the value in female combat soldiers.

Before the establishment of the state, women served in combat roles in the militias that would be the Israel Defense Forces. However, when the IDF was created women served primarily in roles such as educators and administrators. Then, during the Yom Kippur War (1973), due to a growing need for ground forces, women were needed in roles in the field. They served as combat instructors, operations sergeants, and even officers.

Above you’ll find interviews with women on the field in charge of combat training equipment, as gunnery instructors for the armored force, as soldiers in the light infantry battalion, as commanders of field intelligence forces and more.

In the Air Force, women were permitted to become fighter pilots alongside men in 1995 and today women also serve as avionics technicians, battery commanders in the anti aircraft forces and various other roles.

The Navy also sees women taking an active role in its forces. Women can be found in port security teams and monitoring naval boarders, among others.

Along with striving to expand opportunities, the IDF takes an active role in assuring women’s health and well-being. The Israeli army has zero tolerance for sexual harassment and supports women’s health needs in their military service with various clinics for special needs.

As the Israel Defense Forces evolves into a stronger, smarter army, so do the opportunities of those women serving in it. One of the most developed armies in the world today, the IDF’s emphasis on women’s rights sets it apart as an equal-opportunity world where women are challenged to make the most of their service whether it be in combat or non-combat roles.