The MoD has completed a review into the policy that excludes female members of the Armed Forces from carrying out ground close-combat roles and decided that it should remain unchanged. Women play an active part in front-line operations, undertaking crucial posts in areas such as logistics, artillery and engineering, but they cannot join the infantry or serve in small tactical combat arms teams where they are required to close with and kill the enemy face to face.
The policy was last reviewed in 2002 and the European Commission Equal Treatment Directive requires the UK to conduct a reassessment every eight years. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002 meant there was considerably more evidence of women serving on the front line to be reviewed.
The study looked at recent literature on the effectiveness of mixed-gender teams in close-combat roles; the roles that women are undertaking in current operations; the experiences of both male and female military personne