4 female soldiers from 4 different bases discuss being a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the impact the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) has on their lives.
The women in the Israel Defense Forces are female soldiers who serve in the Israel Defense Forces. Israel is one of only a few countries in the world with a mandatory military service requirement for women.
According to the IDF, 535 female Israeli soldiers had been killed in combat operations between the period 1962-2016 (this figure does not include the dozens of female soldiers killed in Israeli service prior to 1962). Women have taken part in Israel’s military before and since the founding of the state in 1948, with women comprising over 20% of Israeli forces in 1948, and 33% of all IDF soldiers and 51% of its officers, in 2011, fulfilling various roles within the Ground, Navy and Air Forces. The 2000 Equality amendment to the Military Service law states that “The right of women to serve in any role in the IDF is equal to the right of men.” As of now, 88% to 92% of all roles in the IDF are open to female candidates, while women can be found in 69% of all positions.
Up until 2001 women conscripts served in the Women’s Corps, commonly known by its Hebrew acronym, CHEN. After a five-week period of basic training they served as clerks, drivers, welfare workers, nurses, radio operators, flight controllers, ordnance personnel, and course instructors.