Alwaght- About 58 percent of women serving in the British military reported suffering bullying, harassment, or discrimination (BHD), The Commons' Defence Committee reported.
According to the report, named Women in the Armed Forces: from Recruitment to Civilian Life, most of the female personnel said in a survey that BHD was often based on their gender - but sexuality, race, religion, and some other characteristics also motivated harassment and abuse.
The report, which is based on the testimonies of female personnel in the regular forces, also uncovered a failure by the Ministry of Defence to properly investigate the incidents and even get women the right size of uniforms and equipment, as around 77 percent of the respondents disagreed that the uniform was appropriate for their needs.
"Servicewomen were more likely to report personally experiencing most types of ‘targeted’ sexual behaviour,93 including unwelcome comments about their appearance, body or sexual activities (34% of women versus 21% men), being touched in a way that made them uncomfortable (13% versus 3%), being sexually touched without consent (7% versus 3%), sexual assault (2% versus 1%) and rape (1%versus 0%)", the report read.
The Defence Committee called on the Ministry of Defence to take the following actions in response to the matter: remove complaints of a sexual nature from the chain of command and allow female personnel to present such cases in civilian courts; amend the Armed Forces Bill 2021 to retain the 6-week time limit for complaint appeals; establish a central Defence Authority to provide a reporting and investigation system for BHD; recognise "military sexual trauma", etc.
The committee also urged the ministry to consider female-specific needs in health policies and publish greater data on the pathway for victims of rape and sexual assault.