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The government has banned female soldiers from close-combat fighting in the UK forces. Despite the Ministry of Defence review stating that women were capable “physically and psychologically” of doing the job, the conclusion was that mixing up male and female soldiers could have “grave consequences”. In the event of injury, male soldiers might jump to the female comrades' defence.
The Ministry of Defence also felt that only a few women soldiers had the physical strength required to clear battlefield obstacles and carry the heavy loads infantry men are required to now carry in battle.
There are more women in the forces than at any time since the end of World War II, with over 18,000 serving in the combined services. Even though around 70 per cent of all posts in the Army are open to women, female soldiers will not be allowed to be a part of infantry battalions, Commando units, tank regiments and other armoured units.
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Photo credit: Rex Features