EU state may introduce compulsory military service for women

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Women should be able to enlist in the Danish Armed Forces, Defense Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said on Wednesday, arguing that the country’s military is currently incapable of properly defending itself.

In an interview with TV2, the official stated that Denmark can no longer rely solely on volunteers and insisted that everyone, including women, be eligible for mandatory military service and that the size of the Danish army be increased.

According to the minister, Denmark and its neighbors and allies face a common enemy in Russia, which he claims will wage war on Europe if it is allowed to succeed in Ukraine. Moscow “must lose,” according to Ellemann-Jensen.

Denmark’s current laws allow the Armed Forces to conscript all physically fit men over the age of 18, with service typically lasting four to twelve months. Women, on the other hand, are permitted to participate voluntarily but are not legally required to do so.

However, because of the large number of volunteers, who typically account for more than 96% of the country’s active servicemen, the number of conscripts serving in the army remains relatively low, accounting for less than 1% of the Danish Armed Forces.

Meanwhile, women make up 17% of all military personnel in Denmark. Ellemann-Jensen believes there should be more of them, stating that “the armed forces would benefit from more women,” while also noting that the move would allow the country to meet its NATO membership obligations.

The announcement comes after his office released the findings of a biennial NATO report, which criticizes Copenhagen for not investing enough in its military. However, the review was conducted prior to Denmark’s announcement last month that it intends to increase defense spending by $660 million in order to meet NATO’s target contribution of 2% of GDP. In order to meet that target by 2030 – three years ahead of schedule – the Danish government even cancelled a public religious holiday.