Denmark Wants to Draft Women Into Its Military

( – If a country’s military cannot meet its recruiting needs, it may fall back on conscription, much like it did decades ago. Typically, it’s men who are drafted, but one country has expanded its terms. The nation now plans to include women in its draft, making it only the third in the world to do so.

Denmark’s Defense Minister, Troels Lund Poulsen, announced the move at a press conference on Wednesday, March 13. He said the country needs “more robust conscription, including full gender equality,” to “contribute to solving defense challenges, national mobilization and manning [its] armed forces.” It now joins the ranks of Sweden and Norway, which adopted the same policy in 2017 and 2015, respectively.

Currently, the Danish Army has between 7,000 and 9,000 troops, which doesn’t include those in basic training. Its conscription policy currently applies to men over the age of 18, but not everyone is drafted, because the forces are staffed with enough volunteers. Rather, the country holds a lottery to determine who will serve four months.

In addition to adding women to the conscription policy, it plans to increase the length of service to 11 months, which currently sits at four months. That would include five months of basic training and six months of supplementary training and operational service. It will also increase the number of conscripts from 4,700 to 5,000. Women could also be called upon to fight, per the policy changes.

The move, according to a statement by Poulsen, is because of the increasing seriousness of “the security policy situation in Europe,” and it’s a factor in building up Denmark’s “future defense.” Norway and Sweden enacted the changes for the same reason. However, Denmark has gone a bit further, as Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen explained, in saying that while Russia doesn’t pose a threat to them, they won’t allow the country to be put in a position where it could happen.

In order to implement the change, the law has to be updated, a move that Poulsen said is coming in 2025. The new policy would then take effect in 2026.

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