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Women in Ground Close Combat

Fitriani, Randolf G S Cooper and Ron Matthews
RUSI Journal, 14 March 2016
United States, Afghanistan, UK, Defence Policy, Military Personnel, UK Defence, Europe
Any decision by the UK to follow international trends towards the inclusion of women in ground close combat roles should be based on data

As the global momentum towards the acceptance of women in ground close combat (GCC) continues to grow, the US decided in December 2015 to open all GCC roles to women without exception – a controversial and, some say, politically motivated decision. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is under political pressure to accept women in GCC, but has indicated it will give proper consideration to the Big Data generated by the numerically more significant US experience. In this article, Fitriani, Randolf G S Cooper and Ron Matthews argue that the MoD’s quest for more data is part of a sincere effort to place the debate squarely within the realm of investigative research rather than gender theory. They contextualise the MoD’s decision while establishing a framework to demonstrate that denying GCC roles for British women would be seen as running counter to international trends.

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