Female Defence Force recruits are being awarded a medal in half the time that it takes male recruits.
The Australian Defence Force medal is awarded to personnel after four years or when they complete their enlistment period which, the Daily Telegraph reports, is two years for females due to the ADF cutting the minimum period of service for female recruits.
Australian Conservatives leader Senator Cory Bernardi said that Defence was “creating an un-equal workplace for men.”
“The morale of troops has been squandered on this diversity agenda and it is about time they got back to what they are supposed to do which is defending Australia,” the Senator said.
The medal honours military attendance.
In order to encourage women to join, the Defence Force cut the minimum four-year service period that applies to men to just two years for women.
Gap year students participating in a 12-month “adventure” in Defence also have that time included in their service time if they eventually enlist.
Ex-soldier and military commentator Bernard Gaynor said: “Males who sign up for frontline combat roles now need to serve double the time as females to get the same medal.
“This is blatant discrimination and it is having a serious impact on morale.
“If females want to serve alongside the men, they should do so with exactly the same entitlements and requirements.”
This follows on from an initiative by Defence last year, telling their recruiters to target females, yet recruiters were given no targets to hire men for 35 of 50 army positions.
A spokesman for Defence has said that there is “no intent” to change the policy regarding required service periods for the medal.