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Women in the Armed Forces: From Recruitment to Civilian Life


This inquiry will explore the experience of female service personnel from recruitment to transition and consider whether there are unique challenges that are not adequately addressed by the current policies and services.

Challenges that the inquiry will explore, include:

  • Recruitment and retention of female personnel;
  • Incidences where female serving personnel are the victim of sexual offences;
  • Overrepresentation in the complaints system;
  • Female personnel are more likely to make bullying and harassment complaints;
  • Female personnel are more likely to be assessed with a mental health disorder; and
  • Transition to civilian life, where female service leavers have a lower employment rate and a higher economic inactivity rate.

Other areas of interest that the Committee are keen to cover within the scope of the inquiry include issues around pensions, terms and conditions of employment, housing and general wellbeing. 

The Committee plans to hold a public evidence session in November 2022 with a Minister from the Ministry of Defence, to assess the Government’s progress on the recommendations of the Women in the Armed Forces inquiry report.

To inform this session, we are launching a short call for written evidence, to find out more about relevant changes in the Armed Forces over the last year. The Committee is especially interested to hear from organisations with links to multiple service personnel and veterans, such as families’ federations and NGOs. Call for Evidence - Committees - UK Parliament

Work news

Women in the Armed Forces Sub-Committee publishes Government response
Government responds to Defence Committee report on women in the armed forces
2 December 2021
Report: Protecting Those Who Protect Us: Women in the Armed Forces from Recruitment to Civilian Life
Defence Sub-Committee on Women in the Armed Forces publishes report
25 July 2021
US Department of Defense report on sexual assault in the military a ‘step in the right direction’
Chair of the Women in the Armed Forces Sub-Committee, Sarah Atherton MP, has responded to the US Department of Defense’s report “Hard Truths and the Duty to Change: Recommendations from the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military”
5 July 2021
Sarah Atherton MP: Complaints System process has ‘regressed in critical ways’and ‘real changes are needed’
Service Complaints Ombudsman annual report found that the Complaints System is “not yet efficient, effective and fair”
28 May 2021
Women in the Armed Forces Sub Committee hears from MOD
Defence Sub Committee examines issues including tackling unacceptable behaviours and reforms following the Wigston Review
26 April 2021
Service complaints and victim support - evidence session
The Defence Sub-Committee on Women in the Armed Forces will hear from former complaints Ombudsman Nicola Williams. The Sub-Committee will also hear from service charities.
16 March 2021
Women in the Armed Forces Sub-Committee publishes written evidence and announces its first evidence session
Defence Sub-Committee holds evidence session on Women in the Armed Forces Sub-Committee
3 March 2021
Defence Committee launch inquiry on Women in the Armed Forces
Defence Committee launches inquiry into Women in the Armed Forces
1 December 2020
Total results 8 (page 1 of 1)

Contact us

  • Email:
  • Phone: 020 7219 3113/6168 (General enquiries) / 07562435286 (Toni McAndrew-Noon: Media enquiries)
  • Address: Defence Committee, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA