Gender Equality in Military Essay

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It all began in the spring of 2014 when Russian-backed separatist groups caused the division of the Donbas region into Ukraine.

Between war, nationalism, and reconciliation with the West, Ukrainian women have achieved a significant overall change in Ukrainian society from the Crimea conflict. The roles played by women in Ukraine in addition to cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the children and the elderly; women fought voluntarily alongside the Ukrainian men in the military, in various ways, on barricades, negotiating and peacekeeping between both sides of the conflict, providing medical care, sharing necessary information that would be useful, whether for logistics, legal cases among many other tasks of great importance.

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The so-called Anti-Terrorism Operation (ATO), began to take into account the women who joined the war. Hundreds of different reasons vary in why women decided to join the Ukrainian army voluntarily, whether because they had financial needs, because they were single mothers and needed to have a job, or who had their husbands outside the country and why not, for those who were seeking a husband within the army who would have a fixed income, since the country's situation made it difficult for all aspects for both men and women or those who simply did it so because of the emotion and adrenaline provided by participating in a war and the feeling of taking it all to and edge of risking their lives.

In this essay, I want to address the issues of gender discrimination faced by women in the military. Based on several articles about women in war, it is an issue that is normally dominated by the male gender. Since there is a gap in academic scientific research in the Ukrainian armed forces in general and in particular in the time after the Maidan period regarding women's participation in the ATO the central question is why does the militia now involve more and more women? One possible answer to this is the great role that gender equality plays in society, where feminism advances every day more and more and the other possible reason is that the female gender surpasses the male and the younger generation, has older women who can be recruited to join armies and fight together with men.

Historical frame:

The qualities of women as protectors and with that maternal sense, women usually participated in military activities as nurses, cooks and as cooks and as telephone operators. At the beginning of the 21st century, NATO countries have admitted the participation of women in the armed forces. Women have been progressively admitted to different types of positions and military positions. This has been the greatest symbol of feminine acceptance in positions that are usually dominated by patriarchy and although the elimination of gender discrimination and the balance between the members of the militia, there are still power struggles and the difficulty that presents for women at the time of being part of these areas of work, since the hierarchy and the most important positions.

NATO demonstrates its commitment to gender equality through the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS). These Resolutions (1325, 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106, 2122, and 2422) recognize the disproportionate impact that conflict has on women and girls and call for full and equal participation of women at all levels of conflict prevention to post-conflict reconstruction and protection of women and girls from sexual violence in conflict.1

As a result of unfortunate events such as the Cold War, women's demands made their way into the military area and feminism took a big step, achieving new laws and new approaches in the governments of former Soviet countries and the world in general, due to a feeling and a need for vindication to fight together and not against the domination of the male gender. The militia, dominated by men, in turn, were accepting the need and shortages that certain kinds of jobs like being part of the army of gender equality to better serve their respective countries and the world.

Currently, 1178 people serve in the NATO IS of which 37.2% are women. Female personnel represent 31% of the A-grade staff and 22.5% of the senior management in NATO. Of the civilian personnel in the IMS, 43.9% are women.2

Even though bodies as large as NATO are, in Ukraine, gender equality has not changed in the labor areas, especially in the militia area. The situation that women who join the front have to face differs from the following

many of them do not receive uniforms that are their size, nor a salary worthy of the activities they carry out, much less medical or social benefits. Not until 6 September 2008, when the Ukrainian parliament equalized the rights of women and men in the militia. 'This law deals with gender equality of men and women in the performance of military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In general, the idea of the law is that we do not divide people into men and women. All persons enjoy the same rights when performing active service. It is a commitment of Ukraine and a common practice of the European Union, Israel, and the United States of America. We certainly introduced this practice about maternity protection laws,' said Ivan Vynnyk, secretary of the parliamentary committee on national security and defense. 3

The physiology of women and men is naturally different, much is argued about the body strength that a woman has to participate in fighting activities on the battlefield during the war, but not all military posts are on the battlefield, it is clear that countless activities do not require body strength within the army. 4

'The body plays an important role in the construction of women's identity. The desire to achieve hegemonic ideals of beauty, as promoted in popular culture, often leads women to engage in traumatic practices (fasting, plastic surgery) or difficult relationships with their bodies (anorexia, compulsive overeating, bulimia). The fact that women can now work traditionally male jobs (particularly in the military) doesn't liberate them from social control over their bodies. Indeed, society forces them to prove that they haven't lost their femininity by joining the military and that they haven't become an undefined sex or gender.

With this type of beauty contest, Ukrainian women sought to empower themselves as women, seeking to teach their feminine image and thus maintain their identity as women by carrying out parallel activities that have been dominated by the male sex.

One of the fundamental reasons that peacekeeping missions have for the gender approach is that a gender adviser generates appropriate conditions and gender activities locally as well as off-site. Thanks to the apt performance of the activities, always protect the safety of women. The United Nations Security Council lacks comprehensive staff and personnel as well as sufficient resources for the tasks that are expected to be carried out in peace missions.6

An example of gender protection measures is in Spain in 2014, the council of ministers approved a law of the military penal code, which replaced the code that had been in force for 28 years, which punishes addition to sexual harassment, abuse of authority, threats, and humiliations, this is intended to prevent cases of sexual harassment and workplace harassment in the core of the armed forces, likewise to prevent cases of xenophobia, racism, and homophobia. With all the above, it is sought that at the moment of adapting this new norm to modernize the military organizations and thus to increase the continuous implication of women participating in the national and international missions and to the continuous commitment of women in the militia. 7

Beauty contests in the militia in Ukraine are a source of expression and an empowerment space for women, as these contests open the space for militant women during times of combat and unrest. The fact that women express their femininity by posing together with the flag of their country, has a powerful message between the lines, which would translate as the commitment that they as free and empowered citizens participate in politics and emphasize demonstrating their capabilities emanating from their obtained military training, with this, as seen above, the question that many arguments call into question the integration of women into the militia, due to the argument expressed by people unable to fight and serve in the army that the woman is physically very weak to fight and serve in the army.

These representations of women confirm the fact that the Ukrainian army is modernizing and trying to put an end to that old-fashioned dialectic about militia only being suitable for men and only having the right to fight and serve in the army.

These representations of women confirm the fact that the Ukrainian army is modernizing and trying to put an end to that old-fashioned dialectic about militia only being suitable for men and only having the right to vote. the ability to defend the country. Journalism and Communications, which transmit the representation and work that women do, seek to show and transmit the democratic progress that improves life in Eastern Ukraine thanks to their work and service and recognize that women are making 'an important contribution to the construction of a free and democratic Ukraine'. 8

The fact that it is criticized or not well seen that Ukrainian women carry out this type of activity mixing extracurricular activities and patriotism, is a problematic dichotomy, since the concept of mixing femininity and the military side in a beauty contest, has as a message that beauty, that is to say, the appearance of women who participate in these contests is a consequence, a necessary condition for them to capture the attention of their capacities as militants in the army, leaving aside the fact that the men who militant in the army, are not judged by their appearance and the negative of this is that the appearance so beautiful and so feminine that the participants of such a feminine and sensual appearance, reinforces the incredulity that their capacity is insufficient to fight and to support such physical requirements in the combat field. These images reinforce the traditional male military culture instead of transforming it according to the principles of gender equality.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the concept of women's emancipation triggered the desire for an excessive fixation to show their femininity with a great hymn to become the woman of the house, which was highly distinctive in the class hierarchy, in this case, the middle class, since social status was only possible to acquire, through a lucrative marriage, in this way, the figurative image of being female was reduced to the cliché of the vulgar woman of Eastern Europe, showing pronounced necklines, excessive make-up and wearing tight clothing and high heels.

“Any role that is granted to women by a patriarchal society makes them vulnerable, especially in times of increased aggression. Being a «Barbie» means being sexually vulnerable and being a «homemaker» means being economically vulnerable and facing difficulties when moving out with children.” 9

Women and the question of gender equality in countries that were part of the Soviet Union feel connected to the long tradition that comes from the end of the nineteenth century, as the juxtaposition of the ideal of gender equality mobilized women. The poet and political activist publicly broke with the roles that were assigned to women. Pragmando in his speeches of independence created a state of consciousness for the whole country and thus strengthened patriotism in both sexes, thus generating a feminist movement during the presence of Stalin in the government, the problem of this movement was perceived as solved, but the government did not give the necessary support or tools to women to join the struggle led by men to realize the constitution of communism. In this way, during the day the constitution of communism was sought and in the afternoons, the tasks of the home were carried out, which conformed the 'cell of communism'. 10


The correlation with increased tolerance for sexism, misogyny, and violence against women in the military is represented in the culture with symbolic and secondary character roles, where women only hold positions as assistants to men in warfare and not in positions of equal military rank.

As seen in the video competition of 'Goddess in epaulettes' in the locality of Zhytomyr in Ukraine, the beauty contests held by women of the militia in Ukraine are a symbolic manifestation, since the beauty contests created by the male sex, expose the image of the woman as attractive, fine and delightful beings in sight, prevailing the idea that the place of women is exclusive to adopt subordinate roles in the militia. This is how the symbolism expressed in those beauty contests drives the struggles of all those brave women who tartan daily for a chance to acquire a respected position in the army. Given that in life outside the militia, in modernity, there are more and more cases of equality of roles that occur in the home when the man supports the woman in taking care of the children in case of illness, taking care of schoolwork and order at home and the woman takes care of her working life and is the provider of household finances. The fusion of roles in the home is today an advance in gender equality and cooperation so that both parts of the relationship, achieve a better coexistence in the family and that the education of children is different from that of their generations and past generations.

Naturally, women are destined to bring lives to the world and in this way, their position in society is irreplaceable as far as the integration of women into the armed forces is concerned, structural change and institutions must be made and can be made if this type of transformation is gradually developed and occupied by women themselves, thus expanding the opportunity to achieve gender equality.

Peace missions are institutions with a gender perspective where the imbalance of power only benefits the male gender, and it is necessary that for the barriers and impediments within the institutions to be eradicated, the changes to be carried out holistically and that the Society generates awareness so that the transformation of culture in the tasks within peace missions, achieve the integration of gender equity, as long as it is not reduced to just the adhesion of women in the institutions without the necessary bases and without providing support to all those women who day by day join the struggle for their rights as citizens who defend their nation with a feeling of patriotism. Equal opportunity frameworks must be adapted for the maintenance of peace and security within these missions towards women.

These kinds of gender injustices occur all over the world. It is a subject that often sounds and is perceived as a utopia. Women are naturally irreplaceable to humanity and it is admirable that all these women, despite the adversities they face in daily life, dare to perform tasks where they not only cost the respect of the male sex but even cost them their lives. In my opinion, the presence of women must be strengthened within institutions, so that it is for the women themselves that they adapt and generate political changes that promote and protect women. Respect is substantial in all its forms and all situations, for that reason, the physical aspect of a woman, must not be judged nor discriminated against since in that aspect, the men do not suffer this type of exclusion and segregation on the part of the women neither of the same men, unfortunately, the only way that usually is effective for the perception of this type of discrimination of gender in the men is when they live near it when it happens to a mother, a sister, a daughter or a friend. This must change and it must be Even. That is why education begins at home and the formation of values in children must take a new path towards the perception of roles in society and the importance of strengthening this formation in educational institutions whether private or public.


    4. Janes Defense Weekly, mayo 1985, pp. 887
    6.,+2002&source=bl&ots=6g3LiXnQU9&sig=ACfU3U2lxmrUby5T1CzRNTZw-X5bAmRYHA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjyjOTVpd3hAhX_wcQBHR_tD8EQ6AEwDXoECAcQAQ#v=onepage&q=Winslow%20and%20Dunn%2C%202002&f=false Naciones Unidas (2010 a)
    10. Boss, P. G., & Gurko, T. A. (1994). The relationships of men and women in marriage. In J. Maddock, M. Hogan, A. Antonov, & M. Matskovsky (Eds.),Families before and after perestroika. New York: Guilford Press.
    12. Buckley, M. (19889).Women and ideology in the Soviet Union. Hertford: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
    13. Clements, B., Engel, B., & Woroba, C. (1991).Russia's women: Accommodation, resistance, transformation. Berkeley: University of California Press.
    14. East European welfare: past, present and future in comparative context B Deacon - the New Eastern Europe. Sage, London, 1992
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