WA Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds today rejected comments by Senator Cory Bernardi regarding the capacity of Australian women to serve in combat roles in the ADF.
“Senator Bernardi would have us resegregate women in the ADF. His comments were disheartening and terribly disappointing,” Senator Reynolds said.
“For the last thirty years women have been progressively integrated, on merit, into all roles in the ADF and have demonstrated they are as capable as the men they serve alongside.
Senator Reynolds today congratulated Australian sporting codes for leading the world in providing women with the opportunity to participate at elite levels in sports traditionally regarded as ‘male only.’
“I welcome the introduction of the AFLW and acknowledge the National women’s cricket and soccer teams,” Senator Reynolds said.
“It is encouraging to see that the women’s codes have been embraced by the Australian public.
“Separate men’s and women’s sporting codes are opening up sport to more players and is encouraging greater participation. I am in no way calling for the abolition of separate male and female codes.
“The rising popularity of female teams in Australian sporting codes has proven that women can participate at the elite level, attract the crowds and generate high levels of sponsorship.
“Integrated competitions are not new. For many years tennis has had mixed competition in addition to their female and male competitions, and there are a number of mixed competitions in the Olympics.
“As more women compete in these previously male only codes I would like to see further opportunities to play the sport together. It is of course up to the codes themselves as to what is appropriate for their individual sports.
“I don’t think anyone today would want to prevent capable women from doing a job or participating in any sport they want and are capable to do so.”
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