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Women in Firefighting Concerns about the place of women in the field of firefighting and reasons for denying them positions in the field are unfounded Women have been in the field of firefighting in the United States since the early 1800s Physical and psychological testing comparing women with men with respect to firefighting indicate that there are no important differences between the sexes in these regards Women have gained a solid and permanent place in firefighting but still trail far behind men in numbers in the field and in positions of leadership Introduction Over the past decade or so women firefighters have been a topic of considerable interest Since the affirmative action legislation of the 1960s and 1970s giving women greater opportunities in firefighting there have been enough stories of individual women in the field and enough statistical data to get an objective picture of the abilities of women with respect to firefighting and of the effect of women on the field In the past few decades women have made considerable progress in the field Practically no one any longer questions their right to be firefighters and fewer persons question their ability to perform the work of firefighting Nonetheless women still face discrimination both as applicants for the field and as members of fire departments Despite this discrimination women are steadily strengthening their position from the demonstrated abilities and reliability of numbers of individual women firefighters and from studies and tests concerning women in the field Women in Firefighting Women in the field of firefighting have received quite a lot of attention in the media over the past decade or so because of the influence of feminism on society Along with professions such as police officer and member of the armed services fire fighter has been one which is especially identified with males The reason for this identification is that firefighting was
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