Attrition: Chinese Recruit More Women

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January28, 2007: Taiwan has only recently recruited large number of women for military service. There are about a thousand in uniform now, and another 3,000 are expected to join this year. The army has already formed one all-female unit; an electronic warfare company, with about a hundred troops. Previously, a few women had served in technical and support functions. But the new current recruiting program is aimed at getting thousands of women into combat support jobs. Taiwanese men have been conscripted since the Chinese Nationalists took control of the island in 1948. But male conscripts are serving less time, and some are allowed to serve in the police instead. Thus the effort to recruit more women. This is a worldwide trend, as commanders discover that women are better at many combat support jobs (as they are in many civilian professions). Moreover, the average female recruit is smarter and in better psychological shape, than the average male. That's because women are still amuch smaller faction of the military (rarely more than ten percent), but females are half the population, and recruiters can impose higher standards. China has always had some female troops, but never more than a few percent of the entire force, and in support positions. China is watching Taiwans use of female troops, which is more in line with Western experiences. China has no problem with getting enough men, some 13 million Chinese men come of age (turn 18) each year. But both China and Taiwan are now concentrating on quality, especially for the increasing number of tech support jobs.

 


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