Monday, November 29, 1999

Carry condoms, British women soldiers told

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London, May 16 (IANS) Britain's women soldiers have been told to carry condoms following a rise in the number of pregnancies at its bases in Afghanistan.A campaign has been launched by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) asking female soldiers to carry condoms, Daily Mail reported Sunday.An advertisement in the army's official magazine said that 'on deployment, there'll be 50 blokes to each woman' and it urged women soldiers to use a condom or 'face something you really don't want to hear'.Although military personnel are banned from having sex in a war zone, commanders turn a blind eye if a sexual relationship is between soldiers of a similar rank and doesn't impact operations.If a female soldiers falls pregnant, she is flown back home as rules bar expectant mothers from frontline service.'The MoD does not encourage sexual relationships in theatre. All personnel are expected to behave in accordance with the armed forces values and standards at all times,' an MoD spokesman was quoted as saying.Between January 2003 and February 2009, at least 102 British women soldiers at Iraq were sent home after it was found they were to become mothers, said a Freedom of Information response last year.For the same period, the number of female soldiers who fell pregnant in Afghanistan was 31.

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