Ceteris Paribus: Gender Roles & the UK Military



The ‘women in the military’ theme generates great debate regarding what women should or should not be ‘allowed’ to do in the military. There is a broad spectrum of opinion from suggestions that women have no place to others suggesting everything should be available.

The role played by women in the UK Armed Forces was formally recognised after World War II with the permanent establishment of Women’s Services. Further significant changes took place in the 1990s, and from 1998 onwards women were allowed to serve in the front line onboard ships, as pilots of combat aircraft, and in combat support roles in the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers.

This article will initially present underpinning definitions and then the current policy on women serving in ground close-combat roles, followed by the legislation that underpins this viewpoint. The article will then highlight which jobs and roles are currently denied to women, moving onto pay and gender, followed by the exclusion reasoning and two interesting viewpoints. The article will then move to the position regarding women and elite and special forces, before looking at gender in statistical terms.


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