The Arab Institute for Women


Women in the Arab Armed Forces

For the last thirty years, women’s enrollment in Western armies has been intensely debated. While advocates assert the equal right of women to serve alongside men, opponents argue that women’s presence and physical inferiority undermine the institution’s esprit de corps and combat performance. By comparison, the integration of women in Arab armies has been inconsistent, slow, and socially and politically problematic. However, efforts toward having more gender-inclusive armies must be acknowledged. As such, this report examines the integration of women in Arab armies across six selected countries, giving particular attention to countries with available data and longer histories of women in service.

This report is published by the program on Civil-Military Relations in Arab States (CMRAS) of the Carnegie Middle East Center and The Arab Institute for Women (AiW) at the Lebanese American University (LAU).