Women in the military have a long history, although their role in combat has always been controversial. This week, the Pentagon announced that American women soldiers will be allowed to fight in combat. With that announcement, the US becomes the 12th country to allow women to the front lines, along with countries such as Italy, Norway, Serbia and Israel. Their presence, however, is hardly a new phenomenon.
Here are some photos of women in militaries around the world over the past 50 years.