Norway has moved a lot faster than the U.S. to break down military gender barriers, boasting the world's first all-female special forces unit.
From NBC News:
More than a year after the U.S. Department of Defense repealed a longtime ban on women serving in ground combat assignments, relatively few have been trained or assigned to these jobs in the U.S. military.
Norway has moved a lot faster to break down military gender barriers. Its parliament introduced legislation in the 1980s that opened up all military roles to women. Last year, Norway became the first NATO country to introduce female conscription.
But the introduction of the all-female special forces unit in 2014 raised the profile of women in the Norwegian military the most.
The unit was started after Norway's Armed Forces' Special Command saw an increased need for female special operations soldiers — particularly in places like Afghanistan where male troops were forbidden from communicating with women. The exclusion of half the population was having a detrimental impact on intelligence gathering and building community relations.