When you think of the word military, you may automatically conjure up thoughts of bravery, valour, strength, and fortitude. Deciding to or being called to serve is an awesome task that only a few experience.
Though the militaries in the various counties across the globe are male-dominated, the indispensable contributions of female recruits cannot be overestimated.
From breaking the status quo to achieve incredible feats over their colleagues to playing crucial roles in the line of duty, female soldiers are a true testament to the old adage: “what men can do, women can do better.”
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During the struggle for independence in several African countries, including Algeria and Eritrea, women in the army were at the forefront of the revolutions.
As far back as 1886 when women were barred from serving in the military in the United States, a black woman defied all odds to enlist in the army. During the Second World War, history was made when the first all-black female battalion in the world was sent from the U.S. to serve in parts of Europe.
Known as the 6888 Central Postal Directory Battalion, the all black female battalion of the Women’s Army Corps were sent to parts of France and England to contribute to solving problems that the Second World War brought with it.
The women worked under dangerous and risky conditions in abandoned and infested aircraft and offices throughout the war. For their hard work, they were honoured with the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal while they were still offering service.
Face2face Africa has highlighted some black female soldiers (present and past) who broke barriers in their field: