(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)

A unique international seminar for women in military service began yesterday, September 7, 2008, in Tel Aviv, under the guidance of the IDF Chief of Staff Adviser for Women Affairs, Brig. Gen. Yehudit Grisaro. Eleven European and American representatives, all of whom take an active part in the integration of women into militaries and defense ministries, are participating in the seminar, which will end on Wednesday, September 10.

The main goal of the conference is to emphasize the significance of integrated women’s service in militaries across the world, and to serve as a forum to share the IDF’s experience and data acquired over the past 60 years. Despite the differences between the various armies, the challenges of female integration remain similar.

Topics that are related to all armies will be discussed during the seminar, and representatives from the IDF, which has called women to compulsory military service since its establishment, will present data regarding army-society relations, women in operational environments, and the challenge of balancing career and family.

After 60 years of female integration, the IDF serves as an example to international militaries of equal opportunity in a military environment. The IDF opens its doors to the young women of Israel to serve in a large variety of positions, such as pilots, naval officers, infantry soldiers and much more. In addition, the participants will listen to a panel of women serving in IDF combat units who will explain their duties, observe a live-fire demonstration, and will visit several units in which women serve in key positions.

During the final day of the seminar, the participants will meet the Chairwoman of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), Ms. Dalia Itzik, and MK Brigadier General (res.) Amira Dotan.