The Government of Denmark plans to extend compulsory military service for women after NATO has criticized in a report the lack of investment in the country’s Armed Forces in a context of growing concern about the threat posed by Russia.
This has been confirmed Jakob Ellemann-JensenDanish Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, in an interview with the local television channel TV2 News. This move will not only help Denmark meet the demands of the Atlantic Alliance, but it would be “beneficial” for an army that today “is not capable of defending the country”, as Ellemann-Jensen has recognized. However, it is still an option that is on the table.
Traditionally, only men must do military service if they are selected by lottery, which obliges them to carry out a four-month instruction. Women, on the other hand, can join voluntarily since 1962.
According to the agency Bloomberg, the new measure has the support of several women’s organizations. It comes above all at a time when the European allies seek to modernize and strengthen their forces at the same time that they increase their support for Ukraine in the war.
This announcement comes after the Danish government has published some of the conclusions of the NATO biannual report that the army does not invest enough in the naval and air field. A month earlier, however, Denmark said it would bring forward to 2030 the increase of some 660 million dollars in defense spending to reach 2% of GDP.
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Should it take the step, Denmark would not be the only country to impose military service on women. In 2015, neighboring norway established conscription for women, leading to an increase in the female presence in the Armed Forces by 20% in 2021. Sweden reinstated conscription in 2017 and extended it to women.