Coping of Female Conscripts in the Defence Forces. A Content Analysis *
In recent years, regulatory and practical steps have been taken to increase the number of women serving in the Defence Forces.
This development has obviously brought about a discussion on whether women are capable of performing the difficult duties equally with men. The article discusses the ways of observing how the female members of the Defence Forces manage in the service, what the developments have been in involving women in service in our closest partner countries, and the overall reasons why many Western countries have set the goal of achieving a higher proportion of servicewomen. The empirical part of the article analyses the positions of active servicemen of the Estonian Defence Forces regarding how female conscripts have managed to perform their functions, and their experience in connection with that. The content analysis conducted shows that a great majority of active servicemen considered male and female conscripts equally capable. In most cases, the situation is not explained with physical abilities, but other gender differences are seen, or it is stressed that gender does not determine how conscripts manage in the service.
* Peer-reviewed article.