NATO scientists study the role of women in combat units

  • 02 Feb. 2021 -
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  • Last updated: 02 Feb. 2021 13:25

NATO’s Science and Technology Organization (STO) recently completed a major study on the integration of women into ground combat units.

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The study found that many NATO and partner countries are integrating women into ground close combat units and the roles open to women are increasing.

Gender integration influences combat effectiveness. It is therefore important, the study notes, to identify best practices, collect evidence and collate lessons learned to support the participation of women in combat roles and to better understand the effects of gender integration.

The study, conducted by scientists from NATO and partner countries, identified:

  • the influence of social, cultural, and psychological factors of gender integration in ground close combat units and their impact on combat effectiveness;
  • effective processes and strategies for the integration of women;
  • appropriate methodologies for monitoring, measurement and assessment of integration.

The empirical evidence and recommendations from the study will be shared and help inform defence research programs within participating nations. It will also provide opportunities for collaborative research with academic institutions, as well as security partners such as police organisations.

Going forward, the STO will publish a compendium report on the role of women in the armed forces. NATO recognises the vital roles women play in peace and security, and the importance of incorporating gender perspectives in all that the Alliance does.