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Beginning with the Mollies of the Revolutionary war, women have participated in American warfare since the nation's inception. More recently, a key development in women's roles took place two years ago when the United States lifted the ban on female combat. This has resulted in modifications to the military’s approach to war fighting and this process is ongoing. This study focuses specifically on the role of women WWII and the Iraq War, for these wars mark two particularly pivotal moments in their participation in warfare and evolution of their role. Using sources from American military history, especially of WWII and the Iraq War as well as current military policy, this study begins with a brief examination of women's roles in warfare beginning in the Revolutionary War and then focusses on the participation of women in combat zones during WWII and the Iraq War. Specifically, I examine the impact that new technology had on women's roles, the growing necessity of female acceptance in the military, and how as a result, women's roles in warfare have evolved greatly. The official changes in the military roles of women has changed the dynamic between women and men further and has brought women in the United States closer to equal status with their male counterparts. This research complements and expands our understanding of women’s participation in the American labor force as well as their stake in geopolitical and economic issues.

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University of Minnesota, Morris


Morris, MN


Women soldiers


History of Gender | Military History

Primo Type

Conference Proceeding

The Evolution of Women’s Roles in Modern Warfare