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'Women not suited for combat roles because of rape risk': Australia Defense Association

April 13, 2011 - Canberra

The Australia Defense Association (ADA) has raised concerns that women soldiers are more likely to be raped on the frontline which would distract male soldiers from facing the enemy.

Australia Defense Association spokesman Neil James said men would be affected by the "gallantry" argument where enemy soldiers trying to rape women colleagues would distract male troops.

"The ADA stands by this, when you get into the increased risk of sexual assault the men will try and defend the women based on the gallantry argument rather than engage the enemy troops," quoted James, as saying.

However James said the ADA would support a woman's right to choose such roles if she was fully informed of the risks.

"If a women chooses to take extra risks she should be allowed to take those risks," he said.

Earlier, James also blamed feminists for the push to give frontline ground combat roles to women. "The nature of war doesn't change just because some feminists kick up a fuss," he said.

"Simple commonsense tells you that if you put women in some jobs where you directly fight men, enemy men, one-on-one in a physical confrontation for a continuous period, then we are likely to suffer more female casualties than male casualties," said James.

"The other thing the feminists never justify in their arguments is would they be prepared to have women suffer disproportionate casualties compared to men just to satisfy their whims," he added.

In response to the sex discrimination in the Defence Forces, the Federal Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis said the Australian Defence Force and other workplace across Australia must be an environment, which is supportive for both men and women.

The military positions should be allocated on merit and on the basis of physical and intellectual abilities, she said.


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