More than 60 women sign up for combat roles since gender barriers lifted from Australian ranks

More than 60 women have signed up for combat roles in the Australian military such as in the infantry or tank crews since gender restrictions were lifted last year from the most dangerous defense jobs.

Australian Defense Chief Gen. David Hurley told a Senate committee Tuesday that 63 women were either in frontline roles or training for them since gender barriers were lifted across the army, navy and air force in January 2013.

Women opting for direct combat roles make up a tiny proportion of the 8,000 women in the Australian Defense Force. Women account for 14 percent of Australia's military.

Women had been banned from the infantry, special forces, field artillery units, tanks, armored vehicles, mine warfare and from guard duty at air force bases.