Women in the IDF: A Step in Which Direction?

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  • Cover Type: Online
  • Number Of Pages: 33 Pages

A position paper on the status of women in the Israel Defense Forces published by IDI and the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). 

This position paper, which was presented at a roundtable entitled "Women in the Israel Defense Forces: Forward March or About Face?" that was hosted by IDI and the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in June 2013, is the result of cooperation between Dr. Arye Carmon, President of the Israel Democracy Institute, and Amos Yadlin, director of the Institute for National Security Studies and former head of the IDF's Military Intelligence Directorate.

Special thanks to Gila Kalifi-Amir, former Women's Affairs Advisor to the IDF Chief of Staff, for her support throughout the this project. We would also like to thank Dr. Neri Horowitz and the other members of the steering committee of IDI's Women in the IDF project, headed by Dr. Arye Carmon, for their advice and helpful comments. We would also like to extend our gratitude to Brigadier General (res.) Orit Adato, Brigadier General (res.) Israela Oron, Brigadier General (res.) Meir Elran, attorney Shlomit Ravitzky Tur-Paz, Ariella Ringel-Hoffman, and Dr. Orna Sasson-Levy.



Part One: Normative Foundations

  • Principle 1: Protection of Equality in the IDF and in Israel as a Democratic Society
  • Principle 2: Protection of Human Dignity in the Military and in Israeli Society
  • Principle 3: Protection of Authority in the Military
  • Principle 4: Recognition of the Need to Manage Diversity in the Military and in Israeli Society

Part Two: Barriers to Implementing the Guiding Principles

  1. The Existence of Separate Models of Service for Men and Women
  2. "Religiousization" in the IDF and its Impact on Women's Service
  3. Haredi Military Service and it Impact on Women's Service
  4. The Challenge of Increasing Women's Enlistment in the Military

Part Three: Recommendations

  1. Women's Service in the IDF
  2. The Interface between Women's Service and the Service of Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Soldiers


Response of the IDF Spokesman:
"Shared Service for Male and Female Soldiers: Proper Integration"