UK to Continue Ban on Women in Armed Combat, Says Defence Personnel Minister

30 November 2010 (Last Updated November 30th, 2010 18:30)

The UK will continue a ban on women's roles in close combat in the Armed Forces, UK Defence Personnel Minister Andrew Robathan has said. The announcement follows a Ministry of Defence review carried out under EU equality rules, which requires the issue to be reassessed every eight years

The UK will continue a ban on women's roles in close combat in the Armed Forces, UK Defence Personnel Minister Andrew Robathan has said.

The announcement follows a Ministry of Defence review carried out under EU equality rules, which requires the issue to be reassessed every eight years.

The review concluded that female soldiers will continue to be prevented from entering into close-combat operations where they could engage and potentially kill the enemy.

UK Defence Personnel Minister Andrew Robathan said there was no evidence to show that a change in current policy would be beneficial or risk free.

"A decision was made to take a precautionary approach and maintain the current position," he added.

Women make up 9% of the British Armed Forces, including 3,760 officers and most posts are open to women, including driving military convoys, flying attack helicopters and taking part in foot patrols.