A Squad of Their Own: Women Deminers in Kosovo
The first all-female demining team was deployed in Kosovo in late November 1999. Comprised of women refugees who had previously been housewives, they are the first all-female demining team in the world. In Kosovo's traditional patriarchal society, few women work outside the home and until now, no women worked in this internationally male dominated occupation. The sight of the women deminers, long hair peeking out of helmets, has raised a few eyebrows. As one elderly farmer remarked upon seeing them, "My poor dears, you are so beautiful."