UK defence to employ women in combat roles by 2016
Soon after the United States of America made serious efforts introduce women in combat roles, the British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced: “There should not be any bar to serving in the armed forces on the basis of gender,” according to a report by BBC News. The report further stated that a government-commissioned report that bans women from serving in close combat roles, will now be looked into to understand the physical demands involved.
According to The Guardian Minister Fallon told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme , “Women can fight just as effectively as men. There’s a small piece of work to be done, but I think army selection should be done on the basis of ability, from now on, and not on the basis of gender.” He added: “We have got to make sure that the physical training and the tests involved don’t discriminate against women, but equally don’t damage the operational effectiveness of any unit. We need to make sure that the training is properly adapted to the different physiology of women and we do as much as possible to protect their long-term health and safety.”
[Picture Credits: Wall Street Journal]
He assured that this will not affect the effectiveness of the army and added that women were already deployed on the frontline of the air force and police. According to the same report, Chief of the defence staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton, said: “I look forward to the prospect of opening ground close combat roles to women, but we have to look at this in a responsible way. Our aim must be to maximise the use of talent without compromising our standards or undermining capability.”
As more countries open up positions for women in combat roles, the age old stereotypes associated with women can be broken. Females who are mostly seen and fragile and weaker in strength as compared to men, will now be able to have a stage where they can prove themselves.