Women's business in men's business: women's health in military service in Australia

by Colonel Annette Summers, RFD, RM, DipAppSciNurs, BN, MEdSt, PhD, FACMI, FRCNA

Synopsis

The suitability of women to participate fully in military service continues to be argued, mostly on the basis of reproductive and gynaecological issues, and the impact that these allegedly have on women’s role in military service.

Scientific study of the differences between men and women, as well as social constraints imposed by the female role in reproduction and child rearing, has
been used since the 17th century to justify women’s unsuitability for many professions and the public sphere generally.

Recent study of women in the military, while acknowledging the differences between the sexes, is showing that the traditional exclusion of women from many male-dominated positions cannot be justified.

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