Representation of women in the South African military

Prins, Ammerenthia Petronella
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Although the breakthrough came in 1998 for women to join the combat corps, twenty years later, the SANDF is still facing the challenge of not being able to increase the number of women, and to meet the national target of a 50:50 male versus female ratio in the combat environment. The purpose of this research was to explore the reasons why the SANDF had not been able to achieve a 50:50 male to female ratio in the combat environment and to consider possible implications for the gender transformation mandate of the SANDF. Patriarchy stood out to be the biggest challenge women face in the military. Some of the symptoms of patriarchy visible in the SANDF is that the leadership of the SANDF is predominantly male, policies are not gender neutral and the continuous sexual harassment of women to the extent where the MOD & MV had to intervene. The perception that women must behave like men to achieve military objectives must end however, the military remains a “man’s world” and as Heinecken (2016) claims, “..the only way to ‘regender’ the military is to stop privileging masculinity over femininity”
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Management, University of the Witwatersrand, in 50% fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Master of Management (in the Field of Security)