Denmark calls for mandatory military service for women

The move can help Denmark meet its requirements under its Nato membership. PHOTO: AFP

COPENHAGEN – Denmark plans compulsory military conscription for women, as the Nordic country seeks to significantly boost the size of its armed forces.

The move can help Denmark meet its requirements under its Nato membership.

It would also be “beneficial” for the military if it had more women employed, Danish Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said in an interview with broadcaster TV2.

Currently, women can join on a voluntary basis while men generally are required to serve if they are called on under a lottery system.

The new measure has the backing of several women’s organisations and comes as Denmark, like the rest of Europe, provides increasing levels of support to Ukraine in the war to oust Russia from the country.

The Defence Minister announced the plan as his office published the conclusions of a biannual report by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which criticised Denmark for failing to invest enough in its military, mainly on land and at sea.

The ministry stopped short of publishing the full report, which it has done in previous years. It cited the “current security policy situation and Russia’s aggression”.

The report was conducted before Denmark last month said it wants to increase defence spending by 4.5 billion kroner (S$865 million) to reach 2 per cent of gross domestic product in 2030, three years earlier than planned previously.

Denmark last week decided to give Ukraine its new French-made heavy artillery system, a total of 19 self-propelled guns of the Caesar class. The donation was the centre of debate in the Nordic nation due to fears that it might leave Denmark’s own defence vulnerable.

Mr Ellemann-Jensen has said Denmark for now has no plans to donate its Leopard tanks to Ukraine. BLOOMBERG

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