Women in the Army
To determine the answer to ‘In the Australian Defence Force, should all roles be open to women?’ Surveys were conducted and relevant secondary research sourced from websites, books and news articles. This outcome will include all of the research I have collected in my folio and is a reflection of my knowledge and learning’s.
What jobs are only available to men?
There are certain jobs in the Defence Force, mainly infantry positions that women are unable to apply for. This is because of a commonwealth law excluding women from serving in direct combat roles. About 93 per cent of all jobs in the Australian military are currently open to women, with the 7 per cent of jobs closed to women mostly in the army and a smaller percentage in the Navy and Air Force.
The following positions are currently not available to females: All Royal Australian Infantry Corps, All Royal Australian Armoured Corps, Royal Australian Artillery Corps Field Artillery units (may serve within Surveillance Aircraft Operator, Weapon Locating Radar, Artillery – Air Defender or related officer employments), Combat Engineer (opportunities for female Combat Engineers are limited to Construction Squadrons and Topographical Units.)
Women in the Australian Defence Force will soon be able to work in any position in which they have the ability to meet demands of the role. This means that all jobs will be available for any gender to work in as long as they meet the same physical standards. This includes the previously restricted roles of Infantry and Armoured Corps and some Artillery roles in the Army. The changes mean Australia will soon join New Zealand, Canada and Israel, which haven no restrictions on any defence jobs, including forward combat units. In the US Army, infantry is the largest and oldest branch but jobs are only available to men due to similar laws that Australia has, preventing women from serving in direct combat roles.
Are there any plans to integrate women into more combat roles?
Australia has recently made plans to integrate women into all combat roles, having no gender restrictions within the Defence Force. The Minister for Defence announced on 27 September 2012 that the Government had formally agreed to the removal of gender restrictions from Australian Defence Force combat roles. Women will be allowed to serve in frontline combat roles after the government ordered the Australian Defence Force to bring forward the removal of bans that have stopped women from applying for the most dangerous and demanding military jobs. Air Chief Marshal Houston believes that it is imperative that women are able to have the same job opportunities as men in the ADF.
“We are all 100 per cent unanimous that this has to happen if we are to be a truly omen-friendly organisation. We should have all positions open to women,” He said.
Plans were released by Defence in October 2012 to remove gender restrictions from ADF combat roles. The...