Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Ceisteanna (160)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

160. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of women in each branch of the Defence Forces at all ranks; the extent to which these numbers have fluctuated in each of the past five years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13109/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The number of female personnel (Whole Time Equivalent) serving at all ranks in the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service over the last five years is set out in the table below, together with the current strength as of 31 January 2018:

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Army

450

464

458

476

496

482

Air Corps

31

35

33

33

34

35

Naval Service

65

64

61

59

70

70

Total

546

563

552

568

600

587

The Government is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for men and women throughout the Defence Forces and to the full participation by women in all aspects of Defence Forces activities. This is underlined by a commitment in the Programme for Government to increase the level of female participation in the Defence Forces.

The Defence Forces have no restrictions with regard to the assignment of men or women to the full range of operational and administrative duties, and all promotions and career courses are open to both sexes on merit.