In the first half of this year, 390 young women between the ages of 15–27 took part in the information day, the purpose of which was to raise their awareness regarding conscript service and career opportunities in the Defence Forces.
According to Minister of Defence Jüri Luik, it was evident from the information days that the interest of women in national defence and conscript service is amazingly high.
‘The thoroughly positive feedback provides an excellent basis for the continued growth of the role played by women in national defence and a greater shouldering of the burden,' noted Luik.
Based on the feedback, the young women were very satisfied with the information day and 96 per cent received a better understanding of conscript service. A total of 90 per cent claimed that they had a definite interest in considering a career in the Estonian Defence Forces or entering conscript service.
During the current year a total of 31 women have started conscript service, with 27 starting in July. A total of 17 women were assigned to the reserves in June.
Approximately one quarter of women entering conscript service continue in active service with the Defence Forces.
During the information days military training, rest conditions and living conditions in units were introduced, and servicewomen also appeared, who shared their experience stories and recommendations for conscript and active service.
In the opinion of the young women, the servicewomen who participated in the information day quashed the myth that is considered to be the biggest challenge to women participating in conscript service – women are unable to physically cope in conscript service.
According to Luik, based on the feedback received from women, it can be concluded that they are motivated not only by conscript service, but also by an interest in a career in the Defence Forces as a whole, and that they are interested in learning about the opportunities that conscript service will create for them in the future.
The highest interest in conscript service was from young women between the ages of 16–18, who comprised nearly 95 per cent of information day participants.
Information days took place in Tallinn – twice, in Tartu, Pärnu, Võru, Haapsalu, Jõhvi, Narva, and Kuressaare.
Also taking place from July to August for young women will be 12 and 24 hour conscript job shadowing days.
Additional information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee