Professor of Gender and War. University of Sydney

The New Zealand Defence Forces female recruitment falls below 15%, despite efforts to enhance equality

Summary: The New Zealand Defence Force had less than 15% female recruits in 2013/14, a number that was deemed “disturbing” by Lieutenant Colonel Louisa O’Brien, a woman serving 28 years in the forces. O’Brien attributes the culture of the military and its unwavering rigidity to this shocking decline in female recruits. There is still a perception that the military is a male-centric domain, and “overcoming the image of military life being a man’s life was a challenge in recruitment.” The Ministry of Defence has commissioned a report at the end of 2013 to determine how best to maximize opportunities for women in the defence forces.

Source: Aimee Gulliver, April 8 2015, ‘ Low Female Defence Force recruit numbers ‘disturbing,’ Stuff.Co,

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