Ever since women have been working for newspapers there have been male managers who suggest that they should stick to soft news because they may get hurt doing the hard stuff, like covering war.
When my car was firebombed while I was covering a disturbance, one editor suggested that maybe women should not cover dead-of-night dangerous situations. Another reporter, male, advised me to never get myself in a situation like that again.
I think their concern for me was genuine. But I can't imagine either one making the same remarks about a male journalist.
To deny anyone the opportunity to cover huge news events -- such as war, riots, or killings -- is to deny the journalist professional experience and advancement. To do it based on gender is wrong.
The Washington Post author of this piece makes the salient point at the start: the solution is to train everyone, men and women, how to be safe when confronted with a dangerous situation. Two reasons: journalists should not have to put themselves in danger to do their jobs. And you don't get the story if you're raped and beaten.