Australian army reportedly bans hiring men in a bid to boost women numbers

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The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has been accused of putting a hold on hiring any male candidates for the front line, in a bid to boost female numbers.

Weekly targets send out to recruiters, obtained by the Daily Telegraph, showed not targets for men in 35 out of 50 army positions  but the instruction to "recruit immediately" if a woman came forward for combat roles.

But some recruiters are coming forward saying it goes even further than that. One recruiter told The Telegraph while anyone can apply, "only women will get the job".

For Navy jobs, the ADF document shows only one of the 18 jobs open will consider hiring men. None of the seven targeted Air Force roles is open to men.

"All roles in the Australian Defence Force are open for men and women to apply," the ADF says in a statement.

However former Army officer and Australian Conservatives member Bernie Gaynor told the Telegraph that was simply a "smokescreen" which was "attempting to refute news that males are being discriminated against for frontline combat roles."

"It is true that males can apply for any job. It is also true that females who are accepted must pass the required standards. But this does not address the fundamental aspect of the situation."

It is unclear whether Friday's announcement that Australia will back the United States military if North Korea attacks will change the ADF's alleged man ban.

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