§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his plans are for increasing the recruitment of women to the armed services; whether he has set a target; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Caplin
The Armed Forces do not operate separate recruiting targets for women and recruiting initiatives are generally gender free. Nevertheless, the Services' recruiting organisation includes female personnel to assist a fair gender representation in recruiting activities. Furthermore all three Services have School Presentation 43W and Recruiting Teams which visit many schools, including girl-only schools, each year. Recruit advertising also appears in female orientated magazines.
These and other initiatives helped the Armed Forces to recruit 3,230 women in 2002–3, an increase of 540 over the previous year.