Gendered divisions of military labour in the British armed forces

Rachel Woodward, Claire Duncanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines statistical data on the employment of women in the British armed forces. It reviews some of the issues shaping debates about women’s military employment, in order to establish the on-going significance of the topic. It looks at patterns of female military employment across the three services, and places discussion of this in the context of observations about gendered divisions of labour in the wider UK labour market. It examines data for the gendered divisions of labour within different corps, branches and occupational groups within each of the three armed services, and looks at gender patterns across ranks. It concludes by discussing the implications of these findings for both policy and conceptual work on women’s military participation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-228
Number of pages24
JournalDefence Studies
Issue number3
Early online date9 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016


  • gender
  • armed forces
  • division of labour
  • military
  • feminisation
  • war


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