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Army General calls for ending mixed-gender combat units in IDF

Reserve General Raz Sagi, head of the Forum for a Strong IDF (FSIDF), who has devoted several years of his life to researching the effects of integrating women into combat roles, says in an interview with Arutz Sheva that the rise in the number of draftees joining mixed units should “make us lose sleep.”

The first mixed-gender Caracal battalion in the IDF was only of 300 combat soldiers, most of whom were women. He says that today, however, the army is taking entire infantry units and turning them into mixed ones. 
“The mixed-gender units have lowered the physical strength and fitness requirements four times in order to enable women to be accepted, and this disturbs me. If the standards are lowered so that someone will be accepted, this means that the actual operational fitness and capability of the unit goes down,” Sagi explained.

In reply to those who believe the IDF has to be an “equalizer” between men and women, Sagi asks, “What equality is there in the IDF if the female combat soldiers in the mixed units run less, carry less weight, and participate less in long marches? Justice Strasbourg-Cohen already ruled in the Supreme Court Alice Miller case that the value of operational capability is higher than the value of equality. When the male soldiers run, the female ones walk, when the males stand, the females sit. This is equality?”

Female combat soldiers also suffer more physical damage. “Even with the lowered fitness standards, 50% of the female soldiers in the Caracal unit suffer permanent injuries such as ruptured discs, and others.”

A mixed unit also affects the soldiers' morale. “When you look into the morale in these units, you find a serious problem. The men who are assigned to these units lose their morale. They take off the tags identifying their unit when they come home because they're embarrassed to serve there. Soldiers who don't have pride in their unit won't charge into battle.”

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