[JURIST] British Prime Minister David Cameron [official website] on Friday lifted [press release] a ban on women serving in close combat units in British military. In what Cameron called a “major step,” women will now be allowed to serve in cavalry, infantry and armored corps roles in the military, making British armed forces “reflect the society we live in.” Women will slowly be integrated into the different combat roles, starting with the Calvary, then to the armored units, finally being integrated into the infantry. Cameron’s decision to lift the ban was supported by the recommendation of the head of the Army, General Sir Nick Carter, as well as an “Interim Health Report” detailing “three keys areas of potential risk to women on the front line: musculoskeletal injury, psychological issues and impaired reproductive health.” There is still opposition by some claiming that women may not be able to meet the physical requirements necessary for a close combat position. According to recent British Army research, less than 5 percent [BBC report] of the women currently in the military would satisfy the physical requirements.
Following the US, which stated that it would allow women to serve in combat roles in the military, Cameron makes good on his promise [Daily Mail report] in December 2015 that women would be permitted to serve in close combat roles within 12 months.