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In 2001, Israel's first female combat pilot received her wings.In 1999 the Caracal company was formed, as a non segregated infantry company.In 1996 Brigadier Sedibe became the first woman in the military to be promoted to the rank of major general.Widespread cultural attitudes in the 1990s still oppose the idea of women in combat, but officials are debating ways to assign women an equitable share of the leadership positions in the military.The army has since put in place a formal policy framework for equal opportunities, and efforts have been made to apply it.Female soldiers in Eritrea played a large role in both the Eritrean civil war and the border dispute with Ethiopia, because they make up more than 30% of the Eritrean military. South African women have a long history of service in the South African Defence Force (SADF) and in the modern South African National Defence Force (SANDF).The Women's Auxiliary Army Service began accepting women recruits in 1916.
Women had been promoted as high as warrant officers and brigadiers in the Permanent Force by the early 1990s, but only ten women were SADF colonels in 1994.In 2000 it was expanded into a Battalion (called The 33rd, for the 33 women killed in combat during the War of Independence) since then, further combat positions have opened to women, including Artillery, Field Intelligence, Search and Rescue, NBC, Border Patrol, K-9 Unit and anti-aircraft warfare.On May 26, 2011, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz announced Brigadier General Orna Barbivay's appointment as the next Head of the IDF Personnel Directorate.During World War II, South Africa had five service organizations for women—the South African Military Nursing Service, and women's auxiliaries attached to the army, the navy, the air force, and the military police.During the late 1970s and 1980s, women were active in civil defence organizations and were being trained as part of the country's general mobilization against possible terrorist attacks.
Despite this, using 1998-99 figures, the ADF had the highest percentage of women in its employ in the world.