Professor of Gender and War. University of Sydney

Catherine Fox says the US Should Look to Australia When it Comes to Integrating Women Into Combat

SUMMARY: Catherine Fox, member of the Australian Defence Force’s General Equality Advisory Board, writes that the US military should use the lessons learnt from opening combat positions to women in the Australian Defence Force. In Australia the combat exclusion policy for women was removed in 2011 after Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick’s review. Merely opening the door for women is not enough, with other reforms focusing on “changing the culture through a range of measures.” Former Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith who spoke at my book launch, ‘Beyond the Band of Brothers: The US military and the myth that women can’t fight,’ stated that the Australian experience regarding culture change is gaining traction internationally. The continued momentum for the ADF needs to continue in order to debunk the myth of the band of brothers.

SOURCE: Catherine Fox, August 24 2015, ‘Women in Combat: The US can learn from the ADF,’ The Drum Australian Broadcasting Corporation,

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