CANADA, Feb. 2, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Some careers are traditionally seen as gender-based. For example, it was thought that nursing was reserved for women, as were catering and other food-related activities, while the police or the army were reserved for men. Well, over time, these thoughts and mindsets have been demystified, and women are now dominating careers that were previously considered to be for men and vice versa. This is even more true in the army, a career previously conceived and dominated solely by men. This article is an analysis of how women serve in the Canadian Armed Forces
The Canadian Army was one of the first to allow women to serve in all professions. It is a forward-thinking military force, opening doors for women who have not been associated with the military for a long time. This has made Canada a world leader in both the proportion of women in its military and the fields in which they can serve. Canadian women have served in the military for more than a century and today play a central role in defending Canada’s safety and security. The Forces goal is for 1 in 4 members to be female by 2026. Here is a detailed analysis of how women have served the CAF
1. 1885: This was the first time women served in the history of the Canadian Army. Their first role was as field nurses, providing care to troops in Moose Jaw and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The tour of duty lasted 4 weeks and a total of 12 Nursing Sisters were awarded the Campaign Medal for service in the North West in 1885. They were called “Nursing Sisters” because they were originally drawn from the ranks of religious orders.
2. The First World War: Over 2,800 Nursing Sisters served alongside the Canadian Army Medical Corps during the First World War, often near the front lines in Europe and within range of enemy attack. With their blue dresses and white veils, they were nicknamed the “blue birds” and were highly respected because of their compassion and courage. However, Canadian women were not allowed to serve in other military roles during the First World War.
3. The Second World War: The Second World War saw the return of Nursing Sisters and this time around 4,500 were attached to the three branches of the Canadian military and around 66% of them served overseas. This time, the Nursing Sisters wore a military uniform with a traditional white veil. These young women were commissioned officers and were respectfully referred to as “Sister” or “Madam.” It was so serious that Canadian Nursing Sisters were the first of all Allied countries to have officer status. Yes, this also means that Canadian women also served in other military roles during the war. About 50,000 of them eventually enlisted in the air force, army, and navy. It was at this time that three major services relating to women were created. The Royal Canadian Air Force – Women’s Division (RCAF-WD) was formed on July 2, 1941 and its slogan was “We serve that men may fly”. The Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC) was created on August 13, 1941 and the duties of its members were quite traditional as they worked as cooks, cleaners, seamstresses and medical assistants. Finally, you have the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS), established on July 31, 1942, and they performed clerical and administrative duties so that more men could be available for service at sea.
4. Post World War II: Unfortunately, after World War II, the Canadian military shut down women’s organizations. This decision later came to bite them in the rear with the onset of the Cold War and the Korean War a few years later. This time, the army faced a shortage of personnel and ended up recruiting some 5,000 women. Only a handful were sent to Korea, with the rest serving in Canada with the same types of roles they had served in World War II. However, with the advent of new technologies, the need for personnel in many trades has been reduced, which has led to a drop in the number of women in the army. Fortunately, with the unification and modernization of the Canadian military in the late 1960s, the doors finally began to open permanently for women to enlist and step into non-traditional roles.
5. Today: Women have been deployed in combat missions, ship captains and command flying squadrons, and their career paths are now as open as those of men. At the end of 2017, there were 12 women in the ranks of general and general officer in the CAF, a record 4 in each service. The number of women in the senior NCO ranks also increased to 57 chief warrant officers and chief petty officers 1st class, as did the number of women in special forces roles. As of February 2020, the total number of female Regular Force members was 15.80%. Remember that this number includes all Regular Force Officers and Regular Force Non-Commissioned Members (NCMs). The total of Primary Reserve members (again, this is Officers plus NCMs) was 16.60% and the total of Regular Force and Primary Reserve members who are female was 16. %. The total Navy (officers plus MR) was 20.60%, the total Army 13.50% and the total Air Force 19.80. %.
The women of the Canadian Army have continued to break down barriers and will continue to do so in the future. The aim is to increase these numbers to at least 25% by 2026 and, at such speeds, they will reach 50% very soon.
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