Journal article

Steyrs and sheilas: the modern role of women in the Australian Army

Women Social isolation Defence Sex differences Australia
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The role of women in the Australian Army has undergone enormous change since the 1980s, resulting in a significant increase in employment opportunities for women. This article describes the changing nature of female employment in the Australian Army and the Australian government policy reforms that have guided this change. It argues that the employment of women in the Army has been progressively shaped by strategic policy and the nature of both domestic and overseas operations and that the traditional definitions of combat-related duties and combat roles are redundant in this day of modern asymmetric warfare. Defence policy must therefore consider the nature of current operations, recognise that the tasks undertaken by women are complex, and acknowledge that policy should be driven by tactical requirements and what this article terms ‘value for policy’, rather than the pursuit of female equality and political correctness.

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