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Minister of Defence Hanso: female conscripts must become the new norm

3. November 2016 - 13:53

There is no good reason why women – who represent a large segment of the population – have not been sufficiently involved in national defence, said Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso at the meeting with women who have completed conscription in the Defence Forces.

At his meeting with nearly 40 former female conscripts who served in the Defence Forces, Hanso praised them for voluntarily joining the Defence Forces to serve their country, in spite of the current attitudes held by society.

“Our overall objective is to increase the number of women serving in the Defence Forces in subsequent years. In the Defence Forces and across society at large, we should not view people as being either male or female soldiers, but instead as being motivated, well-trained and well-equipped servicemen. It should be the case that women in the Defence Forces are not seen as an exception, but as something that is completely normal,” said Hanso. “We have been unable to find a single reason why more women should not be included in conscript service. Therefore, starting in 2018, women in conscript service will be able to serve in all military units in which conscripts are trained. We are also setting the goal of raising the annual quota for the number of female conscripts from the current 30 to 108. This number should certainly not remain the ceiling.”

Minister of Defence Hanso invited women who have completed service in the Defence Forces to a meeting, in order to thank them and at the same time to find out first-hand how conscript service could be made better and more attractive for women.

Women have been able to volunteer for conscript service since 2013. The percentage of women among conscripts has so far been less than one per cent.

During the period 2013-2015, a total of 62 women have started conscript service, with 39 having successfully completed service. Currently there are 22 women in conscript service.

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