HC Deb 18 May 1998 vol 312 cc253-4W
29. Dr. Julian Lewis

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the equal treatment of men and women serving in the armed forces. [41325]

Dr. Reid

The Armed Forces are committed, within the limits of the law, to being an equal opportunities employer, and to ensuring that progression through the Services is based solely on merit and ability. Men and women are recruited, interviewed and trained using the same procedures, and no special or preferential treatment is given to anyone who wishes to join the Armed Forces.

We are determined to recruit the brightest and the best to the Armed Forces, irrespective of gender, ethnic origin or religious beliefs. We have increased opportunities for women in the Army and have commissioned a fundamental review of the remaining areas where women are excluded on combat effectiveness grounds.