A student adjusts her classmate's hair as they arrive at Taiwan's Cheng Kung army base. Some 260 female university students registered for 19 days of military training at the base in Taichung.
It is the first time female students have been allowed to take part in the training, compulsory for male students. The course was developed in response to female student's demands that they be given a chance to prove themselves at basic training. Trailed by reporters and TV camera crews, the women spent their first day at camp marching, doing callisthenics, and learning how to store their equipment.
They performed just as well as their male counterparts, an instructor said. The instructors have promised that they will be as demanding on the female volunteers as they are on male conscripts.