The number of religious women at the IDF Bahd 1 Officer Training School is
growing, with the figure climbing by nearly 100 percent in the past year
According to the latest statistics, 46 religiously observant women
soldiers are currently studying to become IDF officers at Bahd 1, which is
located near Mitzpe Ramon. In 2010, only 25 religious women were studying at the
Religious cadets axed from officers
'Exclusion of women is form of violence'
The increase in female cadets follows the sharp climb in the
percentage of male religious soldiers in recent years. According to a senior
officer at the school, 40% of cadets training to become officers in the Infantry
Corps are religious.
“It is a pleasure to see the increase in the number
of religious female cadets in the school,” the senior officer said.
requires us to set up a separate company for women and for men in some courses
but it is well worth it.”
Religious women have the option of receiving an
exemption from military service, but the IDF Manpower Directorate has made a
concerted effort in recent years to “open” a number of attractive jobs for
religious female soldiers.
In related news, Bahd 1 commander Col. Eran
Niv recently allowed two soldiers, who had been expelled from the school earlier
this year for walking out of a ceremony where a female singer was performing, to
rejoin the officer training course.
The senior officer said that Niv made
his decision after the two soldiers – who had disobeyed their commander’s direct
order to remain in the ceremony – took responsibility for what they did and
“It is completely forbidden to disobey orders unless
they are unlawful orders,” the officer said.
“We need to safeguard the
status quo between religious and secular soldiers in the IDF and that requires
all sides to make compromises.”