The IDF is the only army in which women are drafted as part of their country’s mandatory military service requirement, and as such it has the highest proportion of enlisted female conscripts in its forces. Women comprise 34% of all IDF soldiers and fulfill various senior and combat roles within the Ground, Navy and Air Forces. Currently, 88% of all roles in the IDF are open to female candidates.
In January 2000, the landmark Israeli Supreme Court decision went into effect, which opened doors for women wishing to serve in IDF combat roles . An appeal had been filed by Alice Miller, who petitioned to have the IDF Pilot’s Course open to all women. An amendment to this law laid the foundation down for gender equality in the IDF, and ordered that combat and other previously restricted roles be open to women. Clause 16A of the law requires that female combat soldiers serve 3 years of mandatory service, and continue in reserves service up to age 38, even if they become mothers. These are the identical terms of service for male combat soldiers. Presently, women can be found in 69% of all positions.
Higher and higher proportions of the officer ranks are occupied by women. Women constitute 25% of Officers, and 20% of Career Soldiers. Almost half (45%) are 1st Lieutenants, a quarter are Lieutenants, and slightly less than a quarter (23% and 22%) of Captains and Majors, respectively are women.