Are women more effective as killers than men? According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, there are an estimated 5,000 women fighting in the Syrian war. Gulf News asked readers about women in war and what may have pushed them to fighting on the frontline?

Women are not built to destroy

Times have dictated gender roles, as previously, wars were more physical as in fighting with swords and armor but now, thanks to globalisation and technological advance, women can be more involved as they can control and contribute from the ground. Society has evolved and we are no longer living in a closed environment wherein women do not have the right to make their own decisions. Due to the fact that times have changed, women can now find different ways to make an impact in society and actually make a change, although it does not necessarily have to involve any physical fights that were previously known in history. Women have always been known for making an impact on society, whether it is fighting for equal rights or caring for their families. However, I do not agree with the fact that women are more effective as killers than men due to the fact that the male and female are simply built in a different way, and in my opinion, women are built to nurture and not to destroy. Gender roles are applicable in a sense that women are still expected to care for the household and the family, however, the foremost difference is that we are now living in a world full of opportunities and the fact that these opportunities actually exist are thanks to strong women who previously fought for equality and that is why we stand where we are today. As I mentioned previously, society has evolved and opened up a platform for men and women to voice their opinion. Fighting for change has nothing to do with gender because essentially, the change that they are fighting for whether it is for the best of society or not, is something that will affect everyone in society.

From Ms Sara Ahmad

Canadian sales manager based in Vancouver

Women can be highly effective in war

It is not necessarily about women fighting at the frontline in a war because essentially, the role of a woman has changed and she is now participating in various sectors in society. History has proven that women have been very successful in taking on various roles; however, my personal opinion is that women may be better in taking decisions rather than actual physical fighting simply because of the way that men and women were built. At the end of the day, structure wise, women are weaker than men. However, women have and will always have the fighting spirit to reach equality and with that in mind, they can become as effective as men in a war if she puts her mind to it. Women were previously confined to a certain role in the house while the men in society took over the rest of the roles. However, now those roles have been distributed and society can no longer function without female contribution. Times have changed and the importance of women in society has increased in order to keep up with the pace of globalisation in the international arena.

From Mr Mahmoud Eisa

Emirati engineeer based in Abu Dhabi

Gender roles have no impact

Fighting has everything to do with gender as men are fighters and women are not really meant for it, so war is not their place to be. They can, however, help out with the technological part but coming to fight is no place for a woman even though there may be some women out there who are good at it. Times definitely do dictate gender roles as hundred years ago you wouldn’t be able to spot women taking part in wars other than caring for wounded soldiers, and they did make a great impact by doing so, but that is as far as it goes in terms of making an impact. The fact women are now being recruited to take part in wars and having the idea of a woman walking around carrying a gun is delusional but even though there is an estimated 5,000 women fighting in Syria for example, that is still a very small number compared to all the men that are fighting. There are ten year olds carrying guns and fighting in Africa, so at the end of the day, anyone can carry a gun and shoot, but I do not think that women can be as effective as killers as are men. Gender roles has nothing to do when it comes to taking decisions as it is up to each individual what he or she wants to do or become. Men and women are designed differently, for example women are good at multi-tasking whereas men are not but men are good at focusing on one thing and becoming great at it. To participate in a war is a hard decision because war is no joke, and therefore it is important for both genders to weigh in their skills and effectiveness in order to decide which role would suit would help them contribute and make an impact in society.

From Mr Adib Soroudi

Canadian sales person based in Calgary

Choice because of the drive for equality

Women have always been known for making an impact in society and it dates back to history. The fact that we now have female politicians taking decisions on various matters, whether it is local, regional or international is the most important change in feminism. Thanks to women like Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Thatcher amongst many others, we have won the war on equality and society has been forced to adapt to the fact that women are no longer confined to traditional gender roles. Fighting for change has nothing to do with gender because it is not only men who are living in society, and whatever change takes place is something that will affect all. Therefore, men and women should be given the opportunity to fight for a mutual goal. I disagree with gender roles being reflective of the times, as history has shown us that it is actually the times that dictate gender roles because we have moved away from traditional gender roles to roles that are actually unisex. For example, it is no longer a given for the woman to stay at home to nurture her children, in fact, men are now given a chance to go on parental leave to care for the children while the woman in the family works. The traditional roles have become interchanged and forced to adapt to the time that we are in. However, gender roles may still be applicable in certain societies but at the end of the day it is up to the individual what he or she wants to do. Women are not forced to join the military service as do men, but they do have the choice to do so if that is what they want to do.

From Ms Naz Berkand

Emirati entrepreneur based in Dubai

Women have evolved

I believe that being from a particular gender, one should never suppress the human right to fight for change. Women have evolved from simply being a bystander to becoming an active member of change, in roles where there are direct implications on every day decision-making. This is an important message to young people fighting for change, be it socioeconomic, environmental, or any other cause that there are no dividing factors when it comes to gender roles and active participation is now being encouraged. Gender roles are reflective of our times as with the privilege of hindsight, we can observe how gender roles, for example, in the workforce and home have evolved over the past 50 years. Men have become more and more involved in the responsibilities besides just having a job and financially providing for the family. Men are now expected to be actively involved in the child-rearing process while women’s involvement in the workforce is starting to flourish. The idea of traditional gender roles is diminishing, however, there are still some significant gaps in areas such as the difference in salaries between men and women, but this will hopefully be reduced in due course.

From Mr Hooman S.

Canadian health science graduate based in Dubai

Facebook comments:

I disagree with this. Women are more kind and emotional than men, which makes it difficult for them to kill or attack another human being. But they should not be underestimated since they can be very aggressive and hostile when it comes to their dignity, family and country.

From Fatima Suhail


War is wrong and killing is wrong. I am not a tree hugger, but fact is we have made this entire nonsense a norm.

From Audrey Fonseca


This is not about the killing of men. Women simply want to save their dignity and land.

From Malik Shafique


[What made women fight at the frontline] is when they see their men (fathers, husbands, children and brothers) dying.

From Syed Taha Zia


Have Your Say

What is your viewpoint on this issue? Do you think traditional roles are changing dramatically or is Syria a unique scenario? Share your thoughts with us at readers@gulfnews.com. You can post a comment on our Facebook page or tweet us @GNReaders