A little while ago we talked about the first women allowed to serve on a nuclear submarine–provided that they ranked as officers or above, as that would mean they got their own sleeping quarters. Australia has implemented a different solution to the problem, by premiering its first co-ed submarine sleeping quarters. According to the Australian federal government, the change will offer more women career opportunities, as previously women have missed out on postings due to lack of a place to put them.
“This move will ensure that our female submariners access the same training and career progression opportunities as their male crew mates,” said Defense Science and Personnel Minister Warren Snowdon. Prior to this change, women were only permitted to work on one of the two Australian navy submarines which had female cabins. Out of the reported 560 Australian navy submariners, only 44 of them are women. Hopefully with these new opportunities that number will go up. Who knows, it may even influence the U.S. to pursue something similar.
For the safety of the female officers, there are new rules delegating that no women will be posted anywhere where they are the only female onboard, or where there are no senior female officers. For example, if only two women work on any one submarine, if one leaves they must replace her with another woman. There will also be strict rules about privacy.
(via Sydney Morning Herald)
(Photo via Navy Times)