Leon Panetta, the US Defence Secretary, has decided to lift the military ban on women who fight on the front line. This is a move that could allow thousands of women to get positions on the frontline in far more prestigious positions. It overturns a 1994 rule prohibiting women from being assigned to small ground-combat units, yet the military have until 2016 to work out whether any positions should remain closed to them.
Some jobs are expected to be opened to women this year, while others – including for special forces such as the Navy Seals and the Delta Force – could take longer. However, in total 230,000 jobs are expected to become open to women in the military. Senate armed services committee chairman Carl Levin welcomed the decision: “I support it,” he said. “It reflects the reality of 21st-Century military operations.”
The decision should be finalised today. What are your views on this?
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