In today's review of the GI Joe Valor vs Venom: Bombstrike & Croc Master set, yo was (as usual) lamenting the lack of females in the GI Joe line. Well, duh, it's GI Joe not GI Jane. Anyway, he said that there was one female released per year at the beginning. Who were they? Let's look:
1983: Cover Girl
1985: Lady Jaye
The token Cobra-La female Pythona was planned for 1988, but she was canceled when it was realized how much everyone hated Cobra-La. After that we had to wait for 1993 for the Ninja Force version of Scarlett, and that was it for the line's original run.
In 1997, we got a repainted Lady Jaye, Baroness and Scarlett. 1998 gave us Volga, a character introduced in December of 1982. Despite having the only new body part molded between 1994 and 2001 (her head), that's not exactly a "new" character. That same year we got Vypra (a repainted Jinx). In 2000, Hasbro apparently didn't have the rights to the name "Baroness," so they released that mold as "Chameleon," her sister, and then that was the end of the interim TRU exclusive line.
The new series started in 2002, and Scarlett and Baroness started showing up right away (they got several repaints and re-releases over the next few years as well, including comic packs), and we got new versions of Zarana in 2003 and Jinx in 2004.
So when we got Bombstrike in 2005, she was the first totally new female introduced to the line in 18 years. That same year Daina was available in a comic pack with some fellow Oktober Guardsmen, but that was just "Volga" regaining her normal name, so she wasn't really new.
There was also a new(ish) Zarana in 2005, and 2006 saw a Cover Girl in a comic pack and "GI Jane" in the Viper Lockdown set. We got one more comic pack Lady Jaye in 2006, and then the line switched over to the 25th Anniversary Collection in 2007.
As of the end of 2007, there were upwards of 1,200 GI Joe figures available, and yet barely 1% of those are women? That's not a good ratio, no matter how you look at it.