Denmark to Conscript Women into Armed Forces

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The Facts

  • Denmark on Wednesday announced plans to extend military conscription to include women for the first time, along with an extension to the service terms from 4 to 11 months for both men and women.

  • Currently, only physically fit men over 18 are conscripted for military service. However, eligible young men are selected through a lottery system because there are enough volunteers. Last year, women who volunteered for military service accounted for 25.1% of 4,717 conscripts in Denmark.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

The war in Ukraine has served as a real awakening to the significance of the defense capabilities of Denmark and other European countries. Expanding conscription is just one way in which Denmark is working on building up its defense sector. Gender equality will not just expand the numbers of people serving, it will also improve representation within the armed forces.

Establishment-critical narrative

Military conscription in Denmark shouldn't be expanded to include women. Women contribute to society through birthing and raising children and caring for the sick and the elderly. Adding an additional burden of military service on top of their existing responsibilities would simply increase the economic and social gender gaps in Danish society.

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