Women Soldiers: Images and Realities


Addis, Elisabetta, Valeria E. Russo, and Lorenza Sebesta. 1994. Women Soldiers: Images and Realities. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Authors: Elisabetta Addis, Valeria E. Russo, Lorenza Sebesta


Women are soldiers and officers in the armed forces of most developed countries. Media coverage of the Gulf War highlighted the image of a trained, professional woman warrior. In reality, soldiering is particularly hard for women. It contrasts with the traditional image of supportive femininity proposed by the military to women in the past, as well as with the masculine model of the traditional soldier. This book is a comprehensive interdisciplinary study of female military service; how women fare in masculine, authoritarian armed forces; how their presence affects the military; the reasons for their choice; and the economic consequences of the exclusion of women from the armed forces. Exclusion from the military fostered subordination and dependence. Assimilation - becoming exactly like a male soldier - also has heavy costs for women. The book advocates an active policy of integration of women in a military willing to accommodate their different lives and values.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups

Year: 1994

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