Women are mostly confined to secretarial
roles in the IDF. New legislation which allows them to take part in any area of military service
has recently been passed, but is yet to be implemented
Those women who have more responsible roles, such as in the Intelligence forces, the Air Force etc. do indeed get called back for reserves service until a certain age or until they have children.
On finishing army service, men get a grant from the government that is much larger than the one women get (on the grounds that they served longer and contributed more).
Male officers in the IDF are paid more than female officers and are given better benefits (on the grounds that they serve longer and contribute more).
Most high ranking positions in government institutions, as well as political appointments* go to ex-IDF officers (on the grounds that they served long and contributed a lot).
In fact, this so-called injustice towards men in the mandatory part of army service is the number 1 factor in creating inequality in the workplace in Israel. That is why women's groups have been lobbying to get it changed for years, finally with some apparent results.
It's too late for the likes of me, though - I spent two hellish years making coffee for a lecherous bureaucrat, and on leaving the army got "500 shekel and a kick in the arse", as they say back home, while my male peers got enough money to pay for their higher education for at least one year (on the grounds that they served longer and contributed more, of course).
* See our current Prime Minister for a good example.
Toastie says: According to Boogey, out of two otherwise equal candidates, a woman candidate should be preferred. Don't know whether this is a new policy. And girls in fighting positions serve 3 years now.
Yes, I can definitely confirm that affirmative action is a very new policy in the army. Even when my younger sister served, and that was only 4 years ago, the situation was very different.
It's great that the IDF is prepared to acknowledge the advent of the 21st century. I'm not tring to a be a critic of the system as a whole. What makes my blood boil is when guys whine about what a grave injustice it is that girls are not made to do the same service as they are, because the injustice, to my mind, goes all the other way.
Even if this new liberalism holds (and as the country becomes more religious, it may yet see a reverse) it will be a couple of decades before the difference is felt in the higher echelons of government and industry. For the foreseeable future, we're stuck with retred generals of the Arik Sharon variety. Now doesn't that thought just make you want to be a feminist?..