Denmark introduces military service for women

Published 15 March 2024
- By Editorial Staff
The conscription period is also extended from 4 to 11 months.

Denmark will introduce their conscription system to be based on “full gender equality”, which means that women will be included in military service. This reform is accompanied by an extension of the conscription period and an increase in the number of conscripts.

In today’s Denmark, only men are subject to conscription, while women have had the option of voluntary military service, even with the right to leave at will. Now the government is planning to introduce equal conscription, in which both sexes will participate on equal terms.

– Defending your country is one of the most honorable things you can do. That is why we are proposing full gender equality, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told Danish national broadcaster DR.

Denmark does not have a general conscription like Sweden, but men who turn 18 are instead included in a kind of “lottery system” in which some are selected. This has worked because there are so many volunteers. However, it may soon be necessary to draft those who do not want to serve, so this will apply to both men and women.

– This means that all young people – regardless of gender – must be called up on National Defense Day and perform their military service under the same conditions, she says.

Conscription period extended

In addition, the conscription period will be extended from four to eleven months and the number of conscripts will be increased from 4,700 to 5,000. The government will also increase the defense budget by DKK 40 billion (€5.4 billion) between 2024 and 2028, which means that Denmark will spend 2.4% of its GDP on defense.

Earlier this year, the government also abolished other rules regarding the requirements for military service. Previously, people with large breasts, deviant sexuality and those shorter than 155 centimeters were not allowed to serve – rules that have now been removed. There will also be no minimum or maximum BMI requirements for young people.

Norway and Sweden are the only countries in Europe to have introduced conscription for women at this stage, which they did in 2015 and 2018 respectively.