Shorter skirts, tighter uniforms for Canadian female soldiers

Eric Sof

A lack of female soldiers in the ranks of the Canadian Armed Forces has inspired new recruiting ideas that include adding shorter, tighter skirts, more stylish shoes, and cringe-worthy social media campaigns featuring slogans like, “My bling are my medals.” What to expect in the nearest future?

Dry heaving yet?

If not, maybe a video concept featuring a woman tossing a grenade, accompanied by the slogan, “Of course I throw like a girl, but I never miss,” will do the trick. This. This is what three years of work yielded. A “Tiger Team” whose sole three-year mission was to pinpoint where the military could do a better job of enticing women to enlist came up with referring to medals as “bling.”

Canadian Female soldiers in conflict zones
Canadian female soldiers in conflict zones (Photo: XY)

A “Tiger Team” formed specifically to look at the issue of female recruitment pointed out that for almost 30 years, the Canadian military has advertised itself as an employer of equal opportunity, with all occupations open for both women and men.

Canada is a world leader in terms of the proportion of women in its military, and the areas in which they can serve. Among their allies, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are highly regarded as being at the forefront of military gender integration, according to Canadian Armed Forces.

Today, women make up just 16 percent of the Canadian armed services. According to study documents obtained by the Ottawa Citizen, some Canadian military officials hope to grow to 25 percent by 2026.

“Yet systemic barriers remain in place,” the Tiger Team wrote, “making the military a less than desirable choice for the majority of young Canadian women.”

Substantive causes for the dearth of women in the ranks — the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder and sexual harassment and the lack of available technical jobs — were mentioned as such barriers. Yet, these legitimate reasons still played second fiddle to a heavy emphasis on fashion and video production.

But, The Canadian Armed Forces, or CAF, has set a goal of having women fill 25 percent of the ranks by 2026. Women currently make up 15.9 percent. It doesn’t look impossible but remains to be seen.

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