Gender Integration in Armed Forces: Recent Policy Developments in the United Kingdom

Citation:

Dandeker, Christopher, and Mady W. Segal. 1996. "Gender Integration in Armed Forces: Recent Policy Developments in the United Kingdom." Armed Forces & Society 23 (1): 29-47.

Authors: Christopher Dandeker, Mady W. Segal

Abstract:

This article reports on recent developments in policy on gender integration in the United Kingdom's armed forces, whereby women's employment opportunities have widened significantly since the early 1980s. These changes include increases in women's representation and the number of positions they are allowed to occupy; abolition of the Women's Royal Army Corps (WRAC) and Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS); assigning women to combat ships, and training women as jet fighter pilots. Drawing on official reports and statistics and formal interviews with military and civilian defense officials, we analyze the main factors that have led the United Kingdom to make these policy changes. These factors are: demographic pressures, sociocultural changes in gender definitions, legal constraints (particularly from the European Union), and changing views of policy makers on whether women can and should serve in combat roles. The article highlights a number of implications of the policy changes.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Gender Balance, Livelihoods, Militarized livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 1996

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