Numerous states have passed gender integration legislation permanently admitting women into their military forces. As a result, states have dramatically increased women’s numbers, and improved gender equality by removing a number of restrictions. Yet despite changes and initiatives on both domestic and international levels to integrate gender perspectives into the military, not all states have improved to the same extent. Some have successfully promoted gender integration in the ranks by erasing all forms of discrimination, but others continue to impede it by setting limitations on equal access to careers, combat, and ranks. Why do states abandon their policies of exclusion and promote gender integration in a way that women’s military participation becomes an integral part of military force? By examining twenty-four NATO member states, this book argues that civilian policymakers and military leadership no longer surrender to parochial gendered division of the roles, but rather support integration to meet the recruitment numbers due to military modernization, professionalization and technological advancements. Moreover, it proposes that increased pressure by the United Nations to integrate gender into security and NATO seeking standardization and consistency on the international level, and women’s movements on the domestic level, are contributing to greater gender integration in the military.
’I have long recommended Lana Obradovic’s careful and comprehensive work on women in NATO military forces. Now her book brings it all together - combining history, theory, statistical analysis, and well-designed comparative case studies to trace the different causes and speeds of women’s military integration in older and newer NATO members. The book instantly becomes the definitive work on the topic.’ Joshua S. Goldstein, American University, Washington DC, USA 'Given the ambition of the project - 24 countries covered in the quantitative analysis of multiple independent variables, as well as four country case studies (USA, Italy, Hungary, and Poland) which trace the story of integration in more detail, exploring the interesting avenues suggested by the quantitative analysis ... the book makes a useful contribution to our understanding of the factors behind women’s military participation in NATO countries, and should be of use to both scholars and activists.' Gender and Development 'Aside from the invaluable cross-national analysis of gender integration policies in NATO, arguably one of the main contributions of this book comes from the case studies. It is here, in focusing on the role of women’s groups in the debate on the integration of women into the military that Obradovic contributes important lessons for feminists on the pursuit of a transformative agenda through institutions embodying hegemonic masculinity. ... this is an engaging book which would make valuable reading for policy-makers, military personnel and women’s groups alike, but also for those studying military force transformation and gender and the military. Obradovic has produced an important contribution to current debates over gender integration in the military and the book is a salient reminder of the significant barriers which remain.' European Security