Women at War in Numbers

The Mirror (London, England), April 3, 2007 | Go to article overview

Women at War in Numbers


FAYE Turney's plight has highlighted the key role women now play in our armed forces - and the dangers they face every day.

The world has watched in horror as the brave mum has been paraded in front of the cameras by her Iranian captors. Faye's courage has shone through during her ordeal, but she remains one of only a small minority of women in the military.

Here, RORY SMITH and KATE JACKSON take a look at the the history behind women in war...

17,810 THE number of women currently in the regular British forces.

9 THE percentage of British armed forces who are women.

12 THE percentage increase in the number of women in the armed forces in the past six years.

3 FEMALE army brigadiers, the highest post occupied by a woman. A Brigadier is above Colonel and below Major-General. There are no women in the top three posts.

ONE NAVAL Commodore. A Commodore ranks below an Admiral of the Fleet and Admiral.

3,750 THE number of female officers in the armed forces.

11.2 PERCENTAGE of officers who are women. This figure is up 20 per cent from 2001.

70 THE percentage of jobs open to women in the army in 1998. Six years earlier, the number of posts which women could fulfil was just 47 per cent of the total jobs available.

23 THE only women listed in a combat role in the army are 23 Army Air Corps pilots.

96 PERCENTAGE of all jobs open to both sexes in RAF. The Navy and Army still ban women from around 30 per cent of posts.

230 THE number of women who left the forces last year because of pregnancy.

1,600 FEMALE British soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

ZERO SERVICEWOMEN killed serving in Afghanistan.

3 SERVICEWOMEN killed in Iraq, out of 136 deaths. Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott, Intelligence Corps, 34, from Ipswich; Flight Lieutenant Sarah-Jayne Mulvihill RAF, 32, from Canterbury and Staff Sergeant Denise Michelle Rose, Royal Military Police, 34, from Liverpool.

1994 THE year women first came into full service aboard warships. They still cannot serve on submarines.

3 ROYAL Navy warships commanded by women out of 100 vessels.

29 PERCENTAGE of women in the forces who are married. Forty nine per cent of serving men have spouses.

65 THE percentage of servicewomen who claim to have faced sexual harassment.

99 PERCENTAGE of women in the forces who say they have witnessed sexual harassment.

ONE PERCENTAGE of females on frontline.

ZERO WOMEN in the infantry, although they can serve close to or beyond the frontline as medics, artillery spotters and signallers.

0.1 PERCENTAGE of women applicants to the army who can reach the level of physical fitness required to cope in direct combat situations, according to an MoD review. …

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