Women as fighter pilots | Sunday Observer

Women as fighter pilots

14 May, 2021

From time immemorial, the relationship between men and women has frequently been one of the hotly argued, highly debated and widely popular sinister aspects around the world. Even in the present-day context, in some societies, the position of women in the family is still being tried to determine.

The differences seen physically between men and women have been the beginning of some rooted problems which give rise to the gender discrimination. The feminist thinkers promote rather radical ideas where it is suggested that there should be complete equity between the man and the woman.

But this specific equity is meant to disregard the physical and spiritual ways and means of men and women. However, right throughout history, the element of political, social, military and economic power seems to have been represented by men; they have frequently been introduced as rulers and worriers and the most responsible elite who intrinsically have the ability of looking after their families.

Exceptional cases

As the position of women is secondary up to the modern age, the governance and the command except some exceptional cases; the governing and ruling of some societies basically relied on the hand of the men.

In contrast, a detailed evaluation on this specific matter has been able to demonstrate some examples where the women have also been able to play the role of a worrier, apart from the fact that they are generally bound by the duty of looking after their families; the women even have the potential of being the leaders in their societies. Until the steam engine was invented, physical power was considered as a dominant phenomenon. But with the invention of iron wheels, levers and gears, the work which was initially difficult for man became easier.

The men’s hegemony simply based on muscle power got shattered with these steel arms.

Steam power is recognised to have reconciled the physical imbalances between the man and the woman and it could also make some changes which were just like snowballing in the disciplines of politics and economics.

With the invention of the steam machine, the production done by many States grew up considerably. The spring of new economic systems such as socialism, communism, capitalism, et al, was consequently due to the inequality in incomes; it gave a warning of an impending danger of the arrival of wars. Most importantly Karl Marx, the father of socialism, stated many comments and arguments about the relationship between men and women. The ideas of Karl Marx based upon the unconditional equality of individuals may have limited applicability. But it paved the way for the development of novel ideas among the promoters of feminism.

Influential phenomenon

Before the modern age, physical power was an influential phenomenon on the aspect of war. Albeit the current situation of the wars is more complicated than those of the yesteryear, physical power is challenged by the emergence of novel technologies used in the war. In that light, unmanned aircraft systems, super-sonic air devices, directed energy weapons and long-range missiles have become the most significant actors of operational areas, where physical qualification is no longer considered as a basic specification to utilize these types of advanced technologies.

The present day soldier is inculcated with cognitive capabilities and emotional intelligence and thus is able to enhance his ability of making decisions even amidst stressful circumstances. As the above facts are taken into account it is understood that both the men and women are equally able to perform the duties in operational areas where gender is not a matter for discrimination.

Currently, a considerable number of countries take the service of women in operational areas as much as that of the same, performed by the men. Albeit women are seen serving in various kinds of missions in the armed forces, the term woman fighter pilot is still considered to be rather new and strange in many countries.

These countries which have an experimental past on this specific matter have understood that the women in this profession generally see some changes according to the perspectives and the requirements of those countries. Owing to their perspectives, the republic of Turkey is supposed to be the best example where women are encouraged to be a pilot.

In Europe, the French are the pioneering people who promote the idealism of equality where they specially defend the rights of women. In Israel, 40% of the population are soldiers. It is also the only country where military service is a must for all the women as much as their male counterparts.

A considerable number of researches have so far been conducted in order to investigate the physiological and psychological factors which affect the flight performances of women due to the increasing number of female pilots. In that light, the physical issues get divided into two categories; the issues based on the environmental factors and also that of the same based on the differences of the physical structure of women compared with the men.

The issues based on the environmental factors do not create any impasse on the woman pilot’s training phase. As a remedy for the issues based on environmental factors, the armed forces are required to meet the initial cost for training which is even below that of the logistics. Since the initial training cost is affordable this particular problem can easily be mitigated for fighter pilots in particular.

Unlike helicopters and transport aircraft, the jet planes which sometimes have to perform duties under different geographic conditions are needed to have prepared runways and infrastructure support systems. In this perspective, a considerable number of units that have the inventory of jet planes give an opportunity to meet the minimum requirements for female pilots; consequently the women also have the equal potential of being a fighter pilot.