Skip to main content

Defence Committee holds Women in the Armed Forces follow-up session with MOD

8 November 2022

Today, Tuesday 8 November at 10.30am, the Defence Committee will hold a one-off evidence session assessing the Government’s progress on the recommendations of the Women in the Armed Forces report.

The session

The Committee will question representatives from the Ministry of Defence (MOD), including Minster of State Baroness Goldie, as well as leaders from the Army, Navy and RAF. The evidence session will likely cover a range of issues, including: cultural change in the Armed Forces, reforms to the Service Complaints System and the handling of sexual offences within the Service Justice System.

In July 2021, the Defence Sub-Committee, chaired by Sarah Atherton MP, published the report of its Women in the Armed Forces inquiry. The report made a series of recommendations to improve the experiences of female Service personnel and veterans, drawing on the input of over 4,100 military women.

In its response, published in December 2021, the Government accepted the majority of the recommendations. 

Written Evidence

Ahead of today’s session, the Defence Committee has published written evidence received as part of follow up work to its Women in the Armed Forces Sub-Committee.

The submissions describe the progress in the last year, as well as ongoing challenges that Servicewomen continue to face.

The submissions include evidence from the Ministry of Defence, which describes the actions taken in relation to the recommendations of the original inquiry. The evidence states: “Meaningful and enduring change is our aim, and it is starting to happen”. There is also a submission from the Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces, which states that “from the perspective of service complaints, my general view is that there has not been enough visual change or focus put on improving the experiences of female personnel, in order to provide them with trust and confidence in the system and support them in coming forward.”

Other contributors include charities and non-governmental organisations: the Independent Defence Authority, Salute Her, the Child Rights International Network, the Centre for Military Justice and the Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO).

The Defence Committee has also received evidence from Servicewomen and female veterans, some of which will be published later this week.

Witnesses

From 10.30am

  • Baroness Annabel Goldie, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence  
  • Rear Admiral Jude Terry, Director of People & Training and Navy Secretary, Royal Navy
  • Air Marshal Rich Knighton, Deputy Commander Capability and People, RAF
  • Major General Paul Griffiths, Director Personnel, Army
  • Sam des Forges, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Ministry of Defence  

Further information

Image: PC