Denmark to conscript more people for military service, including women

Europe
Thu, 14 Mar 2024 7:34 GMT
Nordic country will be extending time of service from 4 to 11 months for both men, women, says premier.
Denmark to conscript more people for military service, including women

Denmark will be increasing the number of Danes doing military service while also making conscription mandatory for women, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Wednesday.

The Nordic country will be extending the time of service from 4 months to 11 months for both men and women, Frederiksen told a press conference in Copenhagen.

The prime minister said the government wants “full equality between the sexes.”

Frederiksen also stressed that the country must spend 2.4% of its GDP on defense to meet NATO's budget requirements.

“The total defense budget, including aid to Ukraine, will amount to 2.4% of Danish GDP this year and in 2025,” she told reporters while also noting that the government plans to raise its defense spending by US$5.9 billion over five years to boost its military capacity.

“We do not rearm because we want war. We are rearming because we want to avoid it,” Frederiksen explained.

Denmark currently has approximately 9,000 professional troops with a further 4,700 conscripts undergoing basic training, according to official figures.

However, the Nordic country now seeks to significantly boost the size of its armed forces to help Denmark meet its requirements under its NATO membership by also making conscription mandatory for women.

Under the current law, women are only required to join on a voluntary basis while men are obliged to serve if they are called under a lottery system.

Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen emphasized that the security situation in Europe has become “more and more serious,” and for that reason “we have to take that into account when we look at future defense.”

The defense minister said that recruiting “all genders is needed," as this will ensure “more versatile and more complete defense.”

The new law on conscription is expected to come into force in 2025 and will take effect in 2026, according to Lund Poulsen.

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