Is Australia right to allow women in military combat roles?

The role of women in the army is ever changing.

Senator Cory Bernadi reckons the government should change the Sex Discrimination Act to allow the military to discriminate against women when selecting staff for active combat.

“I don’t believe incorporating women into combat units is in the best interests of Australia’s national security,” the controversial senator says. “It’s about blurring the lines between political correctness and sound tactics in the name of what I think is social justice.”

This is not the first time Bernardi has been outspoken on the issue. In 2017 he warned that “politically correct and gender ideology” could “compromise the effectiveness of our front line combat capability”.

Australia has had women serving in combat roles since 2016. But Bernardi is far from the only one to believe women aren’t as physically suited to battle as men. There are even those that believe women in the frontlines will result in more sexual harassment cases, because of the close living proximity that is needed on the front lines.

But Lieutenant General Angus Campbell, who commands the Australian Army says that talent is more important than strength when it comes to choosing a soldier for a combat role.

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He notes that women are an integral part of intelligence units already on the front line, as they are able to win the trust of the locals in regions such as Afghanistan more effectively than men. 

And Liberal Senator David Fawcett, who was in the defence force himself for 22 years, says he sees nothing wrong with women who can meet training standards being in combat roles.

If somebody is capable, willing and able to do the task to the required standard with the same amount of training and support that any other member has, then I don’t think their gender should necessarily disqualify them,” he says, according to Channel 9.

So what do you think? Do you think women should serve in combat roles? Or do you agree with Cory Bernardi? 

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