Sarah Atherton MP publishes the Women in Defence inquiry, denouncing inactivity and the 'culture of silence' in the Armed Forces.
The Atherton Inquiry (2021) confirms the findings of all previous reviews and reports since Deepcut.
This includes the most recent Wigston recommendations of 2019, which have still not been enacted.
The MoD lifted the gagging order on service personnel, to allow them to take part in the inquiry, but not to comment on the report.
Senior leaders, including all the senior women have been largely silent since publication
MoD official forums are anecdotally suppressing discussions and refusing to post the report.
The official response is expected on 25th September, avoiding legislative changes in the current Armed Forces bill. We continue to lobby parliament.
Sarah Atherton Comment HERE.
After a long wait the Defence Select Committee launched a MilitaryMeToo sub-committee, chaired by Sarah Atherton MP: Women in the Armed Forces: From Recruitment to Civilian Life.
In November 2020, Sarah announced in the Daily Telegraph that the Secretary of State for Defence has lifted the ban on serving personnel speaking to parliamentarians. You can read the article on Sarah's website. This finally allowed serving women to tell the committee their thoughts, without their identity being compromised (many serving women had told us they feared career damage if they spoke out without anonymity).
Opportunities to take part:
There were opportunities offered for written, oral and panel evidence - men, women, family members, civil servants serving in defence and of course serving and veteran women. It included a survey and submissions of individual experiences. Over 4000 women took part. Charities submitted their experiences. MPs also contributed by speaking to witnesses and challenging defence on progress.
For all the women and men who contributed directly through this website, a joint report was submitted and I gave oral evidence to the defence select committee. The report was released in July 2021.