After years of campaigning for equality in the British armed forces, female service personnel will soon be allowed on the frontlines with their male colleagues as the last barriers of sexual segregation are brought down. The decision comes in the wake of a review of the current defence policy regarding female personnel which dictates that women are limited to 80% of jobs in the armed forces with direct combat roles limited to men only.
At present the following elements of the armed forces do not allow women;
- Royal Marines
- Royal Armoured Corps
- Royal Air Force Regiment
Other units do allow women but mostly in a supporting role.
It is important to note that women have been in combat with British forces already with female RAF pilots carrying out ground attack missions in Afghanistan and female sailors aboard warships in the Persian Gulf. Research is currently being carried out into exploring the physiological demands of combat on women building on previous research which said women were able to cope with the rigours of close combat. This research will help the armed forces adapt to having women in roles that were once men-only.