Sunday, December 17, 2006



Women in Armed Forces bill reported back

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back [PDF] on Lynne Pillay's Human Rights (Women in Armed Forces) Amendment Bill, and recommended unanimously that it be passed. The only significant change they have suggested is to the purpose of the bill, to change language about women serving "at the front line" to "serving in an active combat role". It's mostly a dead issue anyway - the New Zealand military has allowed women to serve in combat roles for quite some time - but it will tidy up the law and remove a rather offensive clause from the books.

The bill will get its second reading (along with s59 and the two Easter trading bills) on February 21st, and I expect it to whiz through. With this level of unanimity, there's a strong prospect of it gaining leave to go through its second and third readings simultaneously and becoming the first Member's Bill to become law this Parliamentary term.

2 comments:

"It's mostly a dead issue anyway - the New Zealand military has allowed women to serve in combat roles for quite some time"

But this misses the point. Section 33 *allows* sex discrimination with respect to combat roles, it doesn't require it. The military reserves the right and the power to discriminate, and there's no logical problem at all with a right or power you don't exercise or only very rarely exercise. Put slightly differently, a reserved power is reflected just fine in the vast majority of cases in which it isn't used.

There are good arguments against this bill and every argument for it is flawed. (A slightly tidied up version of) My submission on the Bill demonstrating this is here [pdf] if anyone's interested - clearly the Select Committee wasn't.

Posted by Stephen Glaister : 12/19/2006 12:03:00 AM

Oh boy, Febuary the 21st. I cannot wait for all those "mainstream kiwi battlers" to go on about how society will collapse if parents arent allowed to give their children regular hidings...**NOT**

Posted by millsy : 12/20/2006 12:18:00 AM