UK military to lift ban on women in combat roles
British PM David Cameron supported women serving in close combat units in the British forces. Cameron announced the move in a summit and said that, ''it will ensure the armed forces can make the most of all their talent and increase opportunities for women to serve in the full range of roles." Opening roles for women in close combat are likely to be phased.
Women served with the British forces since 1917 and carried out supplementary roles as part of a separate corps. In 1992, female soldiers were fully involved within non combat corps, but remained prohibited from front line duties. A 2008 BBC article stated that women formed under 10% of the British armed forces and their role was described as 'essential' by the Ministry of Defence.
In 1994, the Pentagon banned women from combat positions following the exclusion of women from assignment to units below the brigade level whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground. Combat Exclusion showcased a huge gap between Defense Department policy and the reality on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan.
16 industrialized countries from all over the World, which are mostly U.S. allies, allow women in combat roles and many of them are doing it for more than a decade. Since the 9/11 incident in the US, female recruits tripled in number in Germany. Israel, France, Canada and Germany have long allowed women to fight in combat roles.
Women's Armed Services Integration Act was passed in 1948 that permitted women to participate in armed services on a permanent basis, but only allowed 2 percent of the military to be women and prohibited their full participation in combat.
Flying Officers Mohana Singh, Bhawana Kanth and Avani Chaturvedi made history by being commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 18th June, 2016. The Indian Air Force appointed its first female fighter pilots and paved a way to give them combat roles.