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Female commander of a Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank during a training exercise on July 3, 2020, in Salisbury, England. Photo: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

Almost two-thirds of women in the U.K. military have experienced bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination during their careers, according to a parliamentary report released on Sunday.

The big picture: The U.K. defense subcommittee shared its findings after conducting interviews with roughly 4,200 women, amounting to nine percent of the regular female military population.

  • Of those women who were interviewed for the report, 62% said they had experienced some form of harassment or discrimination while serving.
  • The report suggested that a central authority be established to provide a system to report offenses outside of the chain of command.
  • "The Complaints system, as it stands, is woefully inadequate and leaves most feeling unable to come forward," said Sarah Atherton, chair of the subcommittee on women in the Armed Forces.

Details: The report found "serious" problems with the military's handling of sexual assault and harassment.

  • Several women testified that they were bullied for refusing sexual advances and witnessed sexual assaults but were "too afraid to report it."
  • The report also found that the military failed to protect and help women achieve their "full potential."

What they're saying: “Unfortunately, the stories we heard paint a difficult picture for women in the military," Atherton said in a statement.

  • "Sexual assault and rape are amongst the most serious offences committed against female service personnel and discussed in this report. It is difficult not to be moved by the stories of trauma, both emotional and physical, suffered by women at the hands of their colleagues," she added.
  • "I am extremely grateful to those women who came forward. Your voices have been heard."

Go deeper

Oct 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden admin releases first national strategy to promote gender equality

President Biden with Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House in August 2021. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration on Friday released a 42-page plan to promote gender equality at home and abroad — the first national strategy of its kind.

Why it matters: Women in the U.S. and around the world dealt with an unequal playing field before the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated many of the issues they face, potentially reversing years of progress.

55 mins ago - Technology

Scoop: Facebook exec warns of "more bad headlines"

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In a post to staffers Saturday obtained by Axios, Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg warned the company that worse coverage could be on the way: “We need to steel ourselves for more bad headlines in the coming days, I’m afraid.”

Catch up quick: Roughly two dozen news outlets had agreed to hold stories based on leaked materials from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for Monday publication — but the embargo fell apart Friday night as participating newsrooms posted a batch of articles ahead of the weekend.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.