Though more women are serving in combat roles, positions in infantry and armored brigades have been deemed too physically demanding for female soldiers.
The equipment they have to be able to carry is too heavy, the distances the soldiers have to be able to travel are too far. At least this is what the IDF’s Medical Corps and the army’s gender affairs adviser to the chief of staff have determined.
These are not decisions based on women’s intellect, determination, or desire to serve. They are based on simple equations of body mass, muscle type, bone density and other physiological attributes, Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Yuval Heled, head of the Institute for Military Physiology at Tel Hashomer’s Sheba Medical Center, told The Times of Israel.
“You need to be at this weight; you need to be able to run such and such a distance at a specific speed; you need to be able to evacuate a wounded soldier to such and such a distance; your muscle power needs to be that,” he explained.