Today marked the start of the “Women into Uniform!” campaign by the Ministry of Defence. The goal of the campaign is to inform young women about the opportunity to contribute to national defence and complete conscript service as volunteers.
According to Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna, Estonia’s defence relies on the family model, in which men, women, boys and girls, grandfathers and grandmothers are included. “National defence is universal and I believe that the desire to protect Estonia does not differ between men and women. All members of our society have a very important contribution to make when it comes to ensuring peace and security,” said Minister of Defence Tsahkna. “I am very happy to see that Estonian women wish to contribute to the defence of our country and that this interest has grown over time. I have given the order that women shall have the opportunity to complete conscript service in all military units” added Minister of Defence Tsahkna.
The opening event of the campaign took place today at the Tallinna Spordihall, where women who have completed conscript service and those planning to take that step, women who are public personalities and women who wish to put themselves to the test physically, completed the general physical fitness test of the Defence Forces. This is the same test that must be completed by each servicewoman in order to successfully complete their training. The test is comprised of a 3200 m run, a two-minute push-up test and a two-minute sit-up test. All of those who took the test completed it successfully, which shows that the general physical shape of women meets the requirements for conscript service and women are as equally capable as men when it comes to coping with conscript service.
Within the framework of the campaign “Women into Uniform”, opportunities and the conditions for completing conscript service are introduced to young women in schools, via social media and external media. In Tartu, the female half of the “Kissing Students“ sculpture has been dressed as a conscript, directing the attention of young women to the possibility of contributing to national defence.
Since 2013, women between the ages of 18-27, who are Estonian citizens, have had the opportunity to voluntarily enter conscript service. As of that date, a total of 93 women have entered conscript service, with 41 having completed conscript service and 23 currently completing conscript service.
Men and women have equal opportunities in conscript service to show their strengths and abilities and later make a career in the Defence Forces. When assuming the national defence obligation, one must take into consideration the national defence obligation until the age of 60 (included), including the obligation to appear for reservist training.
Additional information on the opportunities for conscript service can be found here https://www.kra.ee/naisedvormi/
Pictures of the opening event of the campaign: http://pildid.mil.ee/index.php?/category/58070