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Photos: These are the women of combat

AP Photo/Hussein Malla
Iraqi women hold AK-47 assault rifles and march during a military parade in Diala province, northeast of Baghdad, Iraq on Jan. 7, 2003.
By Claudia Bracholdt
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

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.

AP Photo/Chor Yuthy
Cambodian women soldiers advance with male counterparts toward the besieged town of Romeas 40 miles northwest of Phnom Penh on Jan. 24, 1973.
AP Photo/Vincent Yu
North Korean female soldiers march during a mass military parade in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Kim Il Sung on April 15, 2012.
AP Photo
A Norwegian female soldier, part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), puts a shoe onto an Afghan child’s foot at a mobile medical center in Mazar-e-Sharif, north of Kabul, Afghanistan on March 25, 2007.
AP Photo/Giulio Broglio
Female soldiers receive training on rocket launchers at the Women’’s Military Academy in Tripoli on Jan. 18, 1986.
AP Photo/Max Nash
An unidentified female soldier walks along the beach at Ein Fashka at the northern end of the Dead Sea, Israel, carrying her assault rifle on Sept. 27, 1989. The army recommended troops carry weapons with them at all times.
AP Photo/Lou Krasky
Recruit Angelia Wingle, of Lyons, Georgia, shines her combat boot as she sits on a bunk in the barracks at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. in September 1977.
AP Photo/Frank Augstein
Private Dajana Bartczewski wears a full camouflage helmet and camouflage paint on her face during German army manuevers near Augustdorf on Jan. 9, 2001. It was the first time that female soldiers joined a military exercise in combat units and were permitted to handle weapons.
AP Photo/Oded Balilty
An Israeli woman soldier holds a rifle during a march near Ein Yahav in southern Israel on Dec. 20, 2006. The Israeli army once only allowed female conscripts in clerical or support jobs. Today, Israel is the only country in the world with a mandatory military service requirement for women.


AP Photo/Amel Emric
A Hungarian female soldier joins Bosnian Army soldiers’ exercise during hostile situation training near Tuzla, 70 kms north of the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo on March 6, 2008.
AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev
Young female cadets at a parade in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 7, 2010.
AP Photo/Andy Wong
A North Korean female soldier stands guard along the waterfront of the Yalu River at the North Korean side of the Chinese border town of Hekou, northeast of Dandong, China, Monday, March 23, 2009.
AP Photo/Horst Faas
Israeli Army female soldiers, usually dressed in blouse and skirt, take to jeans and oversized men’’s winter uniform overcoats after chilly rains and dropping temperatures on Oct. 31, 1973 near Merom Golan, Golan Heights, Syria.
AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos
Female soldiers march during a military parade commemorating the 20th anniversary of the failed coup attempt by President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, Venezuela, on Feb. 4, 2012.
AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
Female recruits of the Kachin Independence Army, one of the country’s largest armed ethnic groups, rest in their barracks at a training camp near Laiza in Myanmar on April 17, 2010.

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