Australian Air Force Pilots Told Consider Gendered Social Roles During Bombing Operations

Royal Australian Air Force pilots are taught to think of women and take a 'gender perspective' during bombing operations.

The 'Gender in Air Operations' doctrine informs pilots what they should do before dropping bombs in war zones to ensure women aren't placed in danger.

It gives the example of how destroying a bridge used by enemy troops could force local women to walk further to fetch water or wood.

'Although destroying this target may provide a military advantage against the enemy, the second order effect may mean that, due to the gendered social roles, women need to travel further afield, on unfamiliar and less secure, well-known or well-lit routes to gather water and firewood,' the doctrine said.

The program has been designed to encourage a 'new way of thinking' in which vulnerable woman aren't at an increased risk of violence or threat

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 Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans Association NSW/ACT president Bruce Relph said the program will also protect pilots.  

'This is going to make the pilot hesitate, afraid he might be charged with war crimes, and that puts his life in danger because the enemy will not be hesitating to shoot him down,' he stated.

However former army officer Bernard Gaynor said: 'We need our Defence Force to train combat warriors, not social justice warriors. The sooner Defence returns to its core business the better.'

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