And this week, the US military announced it is easing some restrictions on women in combat, which will put more women in harm's way than ever before.
But, ironically, women soldiers are more threatened by the US military men with whom they serve than they are by enemy forces.
Guest host Alison Smith speaks to Helen Benedict. She is the author of Sand Queen, and before that, The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq. Ms. Benedict teaches journalism at Columbia University.