By Robert Egnell, Petter Hojem, Hannes Berts (auth.)
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Extra resources for Gender, Military Effectiveness, and Organizational Change: The Swedish Model
In other words, should a gender perspective be implemented, or ought women recruited because it is the ‘smart’ thing or the ‘right’ thing to do? This debate is not just one of practical choices, but also reflects a more fundamental divide between pragmatists and activists. While pragmatists are more willing to leave important fights aside in order to work Gender, Feminism, and Military Effectiveness 37 with the organization, activists see such approaches more as ‘selling out’. The position taken in this book is again that such dichotomies are unhelpful and that the approaches should go hand in hand.
9 Beyond these specific tasks, women can also play a role with regard to the means, the physical or material factor of military capability. Including the large portion of women who are fit for military service in the armed forces allows societies to maximize the size of those forces. This book is nevertheless primarily about the integration of a gender perspective, rather than just the increased recruitment and influence of women. While it is often believed that women would help in such processes, they are by no means a requirement.
While these fears are perfectly understandable in a conservative organizational culture, they are based on a flawed assumption and therefore misguided. 21 Based on this assumption, the aim of including women in direct combat roles becomes limited to avoiding damage while maintaining the existing order. Even the supporters of women in combat and gender perspectives are asking how this can be achieved with as little damage to the organization as possible. The women who have served with combat units in the field proudly speak of the moment they were accepted as ‘one of the boys’.
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