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Photo dated 13 June 2003 a female US soldier manning a machine gun on a vehicle during clashes in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The war in Iraq, which has killed or wounded more US women in combat than any other conflict, has redefined their role in the military and triggered a rethink of their place on the front line. Women who serve in the US army are barred from engaging in combat under rules drawn up by the Pentagon a decade ago. But the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, where the US is fighting an insurgency and no front line exists as such, have been proving grounds for the women soldiers.
The ACLU of Northern California has filed a lawsuit on behalf of four female service members who say that the Department of Defense's policy has hampered their ability to get the same kinds of promotions that their male counterparts receive.
According to the ACLU there are an estimated 238,000 jobs in the military that women are banned from performing because of their sex. We'll speak with Maj. Mary Jennings Hegar, one of the soldiers filing the lawsuit.