“Equal Treatment for Women in State Armed Forces”

A recent post on the ICRC’s Humanitarian Law & Policy blog by Helen Durham and Vanessa Murphy examines the requirement for equal treatment of women in the military.

The authors analyse the relevant rules of IHL governing the treatment of female combatants, and identify three corresponding planning obligations for military medical services. In particular, they focus on the State obligation under the Geneva Conventions to treat wounded and sick female members of the armed forces with “all consideration due to their sex”, and consider what this means for contemporary armed forces.

Durham and Murphy conclude:

“As women move forward in State militaries both in numbers and in roles, there is concurrent recognition that they provide diversity of experience and expertise within what has traditionally been an extremely male-dominated profession […] As militaries recognise this value, the requirement to provide female combatants with equal treatment is increasingly relevant.

The full post is available here.