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Women in the Armed Forces Sub-Committee publishes written evidence and announces its first evidence session

3 March 2021

Today, the Defence Sub-Committee on Women in the Armed Forces publishes a first batch of written evidence and announces its first evidence session.

The written evidence includes submissions from female service personnel and veterans themselves, as well as academics and organisations that support Service personnel and veterans, such as the Confederation of Service Charities (Cobseo), the Naval Families Federation, the RAF Families Federation, the ‘Salute Her’ veterans service (Forward Assist), the Centre for Military Justice,  the Forces in Mind Trust and others. Many female service personnel and veterans have opted to provide ‘confidential’ written evidence, meaning this will not be published.   

The Sub-Committee will hold its first evidence session on Thursday 4 March, at 10.00. The session will consider the situation of female Service personnel and veterans, in particular any unique or additional challenges that women may face.  It focuses especially on the Armed Forces’ efforts to promote cultural change and tackle unacceptable behaviours. The Committee will also examine the level and appropriateness of existing support for serving personnel with families, and any specific challenges for Servicewomen with family responsibilities.

The session will consist of two panels of witnesses. The first panel will include Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired) Diane Allen and Paula Edwards. Lieutenant-Colonel Allen was one of the first women to serve at Sandhurst, with 30 years’ experience in the British Army. In May 2020, Lieutenant-Colonel Allen announced on Sky News that it was time for the armed forces to have its own #MeToo moment and has since written a book, ‘Forewarned’. Ms Edwards helps run ‘Salute Her’, a gender-specific veterans’ service for women, run by Forward Assist.

The second panel will consist of Maria Lyle and Anna Wright. Maria Lyle joined the RAF Families Federation in late 2018. Previously Ms Lyle served in the RAF, and has also worked in senior leadership roles in local and central government. Anna Wright has been CEO of the Naval Families Federation since June 2015, and previously served in the Navy.


Thursday 4 March

At 10.00am

  • Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired) Diane Allen, author of 'Forewarned'
  • Paula Edwards, Project Lead & Mental Health Therapist, Salute Her

At 11.00am

  • Maria Lyle, Director, RAF Families Federation
  • Anna Wright, CEO, Naval Families Federation

Further information

Image: MoD