Oz opposition disagrees with placement of women into forces

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  1. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Oz opposition disagrees with placement of women into forces

    Melbourne: In the backdrop of Australia planning to shed gender inequality in its defence forces, the country's opposition party on Thursday said the frontline of war is no place for women but maintained its support for equality in armed forces.


    The Opposition's stand has been clarified two days after Defence Personnel Minister Greg Combet told Parliament all areas of military service should be open to women.

    His Coalition counterpart Bob Baldwin said psychological aspects of battle made the frontline unsuitable for women.

    "The Coalition believes in the equality of opportunity for women in the defence force," he said and added "The Coalition, however, doesn't agree with the placement of women into forces such as the SAS, clearance divers, commandos or frontline combat engineers," according to 'Herald Sun' report.

    Baldwin said the spectre of a firefight in war would be a bigger threat to team morale if women were engaged in battle.

    The capture of women in convoys from the US forces had placed the lives of fellow soldiers at risk as the "instinct ... of protecting" kicked in.

    "When the enemy captures women, they treat them a little bit differently to what they do male prisoners," he said. However, Labour MP Yvette D'Ath said the issue of serving on the frontline should be "irrespective" of gender.

    "I'm very strong on equality and basis on who can do the job," she said
     
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  3. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Australia may allow women to serve in frontline combat

    Melbourne: Australia might allow women soldiers to fight in frontline combat units under proposed equal opportunity guidelines.


    The measure aims to remove blanket restrictions which earlier stopped women from joining frontline infantry units and also to woo more females into the armed forces.

    The proposal was outlined by the Defence Personnel Minister Greg Combet during a debate in parliament yesterday, which triggered a massive discussion on whether women can meet the challenging physical demands required on the frontline.

    Combet said the government will not make any decision until the new physical standards of armed forces recruitment were finalised.

    "My own view is that all categories should be open to women in armed forces," the minister told the parliament.

    Canada, New Zealand, Israel and some other western nations allow women to serve in combat roles. Australian woman already serve in frontlines roles in Afghanistan, but are restricted to non-combat units.

    Combet said government wanted to break down gender barriers in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) by reviewing who does what based on physical capabilities, rather than gender.

    Women now make up around 13 per cent of ADF personnel but the Government would like that number to increase.

    A high-ranking Australian Army officer has backed Combet's move. First Brigade Commander Brigadier Michael Krause said it has been an "enormous generalisation" that women are not strong enough for the job
     

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