Photo Story: The Netherlands allows first female naval personnel to work on submarines

Photo: EPA-EFE/ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN

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All five women currently sailing on a submarine pose at the base of the Royal Dutch Navy in Den Helder, The Netherlands.

The Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) now allows female naval personnel to work on submarines.

The Dutch Submarine Service was the last place in the Dutch Armed Forces in which women could not perform all functions. The sailing positions were only open to men, because there are no separate facilities on board the current submarines – an important condition for mixed sailing for the government and the navy.

The navy therefore decided to experiment with the “one of the crew” concept, in which there are no separate facilities on board and women and men are seen as “crew” and all treated equally.

The RNLN started with mixed sailing in 1982 for surface ships. The submarine service was the only place within the Dutch Defense where women were still not allowed.

Photo: EPA-EFE/ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN

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