The head of the British Army has given the clearest sign yet that women will soon be given the right to fight on the front line in a combat role. General Sir Peter Wall, chief of the general staff has said that lifting the ban on women serving in combat units was ‘something we need to be considering seriously’.
It is. Women can already serve on the front line with the artillery and as medics, engineers, intelligence officers and fighter pilots. So let’s open up all areas to women – but only if they can pass the tests to prove they are up to it. No quotas; no easier trials. There will be women who pass, and women who don’t. The ones who pass of course deserve to fight in frontline combat units . The ones who don’t may well be suited to other areas of the military.
If we hanker after gender equality, then it must be brought about fairly. Open up tests to everyone – but then accept that not everyone will pass. That’s the way it works in our education system; why not in our national institutions too?