My guess is that this pictures was taken no ealier than 1991 and no later than late 1993.
Infact I am going to guess the capbadge is RLC, so i would say probably 1993.
Would the Americans have persued Jessica Lynch as doggedly had it been a bloke? There would have been a lot less pressure from political and public sources. She was splashed all over the news during her time as MIA.
It is wrong but women in the Army, and unfortunetly those who are wounded or are killed more so, will always attract media attention for the wrong reasons. The media manage to put some sort of spin on the story that makes out she should never have been put in that situation in the first place. Yet, as the BBC report shows, women have often contributed as much to dangerous operations (ie SOE) as men on an individual level.
If I recall correctly the staff that helped break Enigma were practically all women, those that worked out calculations for the onboard gunnery calculators of WW1 battleships were all women also I believe and the women who stepped forward to carry out all manner of duties during the wars. Yet they are repeatedly seen as weak, meek or whatever the press thinks they are supposed to be.
"But do they have a real role to play in a war zone, or are they there for the sake of political correctness?"
I think the questions is ridiculous. If the writer is coming in from such a dated perspective, it does make you think about the integrity of the rest of the article and the attitude the reporter is trying to convey. In fact the rest of the article does seem to be quotes about the inevitability of women being killed in the armed forces, rather than any meaningful observation about their contribution.
Albeit this thread covers the wider issue of women in a war zone as highlighted by the BBC........Female Killing Machines focused the issue on close quarter combat.
Flight Lieutenant Sarah-Jayne Mulvihill (RIP) was killed by a a surface to air attack (allegedly) on a helicopter recce and certain quarters are getting twitchy about this. Imagine the bow-wave if she had been killed as a result of a ground recce gone wrong turning into an ambush and subsequent hand-to-hand resulting in a knife through the stomach. Negative opinion would be bouncing off all 4 walls.............
Flight Lieutenant Sarah-Jayne Mulvihill (RIP) was killed by a a surface to air attack (allegedly) on a helicopter recce and certain quarters are getting twitchy about this. Imagine the bow-wave if she had been killed as a result of a ground recce gone wrong turning into an ambush and subsequent hand-to-hand resulting in a knife through the stomach. Negative opinion would be bouncing off all 4 walls
EO and all that, I am pretty sure they get paid the same.
Seriously, though the country has to have a serious look at what is going on. If the idea of a woman dying in combat is so repulsive then women will have to leave the forces. The forces are not here to provide interesting career paths for women in peace time and protect them in war. If you put on the capbadge, chances are you will end up in a situation where you could be wounded or killed in action. The country/media/etc have to learn to deal with that fact.
This article seems to confuse the concept of females being placed in danger with a female's effectiveness and/or capacity to fight. The former should not even be a question.
The truth is that women have and always will be caught up in wars in some capacity, whether as nurses, followers of baggage trains, civilians awaiting oncoming armies, as snipers, saboteurs, soldiers or as helpless citizens being bombed from the air.
But do they have a real role to play in a war zone, or are they there for the sake of political correctness?
What a totally inane and pointless question! (And written by a woman!)
Women have proved many times in the past that they have roles to play in war. Unfortunately, these achievements were often seen as an embarrassment to femininity in the past and thus in peace time were brushed under the carpet. I remember reading in particular of a group of women operating switchboards in the trenches during WWI who only received their medals in the 70s after much campaigning.
Britain has been exceptionally fortunate in that its women have never had to defend themselves on home soil. Perhaps traditionalists, women included, should take a look at the histories of Spain, Serbia and Russia, to name a few, where female soldiers are well documented.
...there was a certain inevitability that sooner or later a female name would be added to the list of the dead.