HC Deb 13 December 1999 vol 341 c30W
Mr. Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on his Department's policy in respect of the employment of women in posts in the Royal Marines. [101936]

Mr. Spellar

We are committed to equality of opportunity in the Armed Forces, and some 73 per cent. of the posts within the Naval Service are already open to women. The possibilities for further extending employment opportunities for women were considered in the Strategic Defence Review. It was decided that posts in the Royal Marines General Service, and similar posts in the other Services whose primary role in battle is to 'close with and kill the enemy', should be subject to further work to assess the potential impact on combat effectiveness of opening such posts to women. This work is currently in hand.