Denmark is planning to introduce compulsory military service for women to bolster the strength of its armed forces in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its defense minister said Wednesday.
Danish men are already required to serve in the military if they are called upon by a lottery system, typically for around four months, according to Bloomberg. Women can serve voluntarily, but that may need to change if Denmark wants to meet its requirements for NATO membership, Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said in an interview with TV2.
Denmark plans to have a mandatory draft for women, as the Nordic country seeks to significantly boost the size of its armed forces and help meet its NATO requirement https://t.co/JGLuOAU2kI pic.twitter.com/VhwUG3hHru
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) January 26, 2023
Ellemann-Jensen announced the plan after a biannual NATO review found that Denmark has not been investing enough in its military.
Women currently comprise less than 10% of Denmark’s armed forces. Norway became the first NATO member to begin drafting women in 2015, Bloomberg reported. (RELATED: Biden Admin ‘Not Aware’ Of Any US Aid Linked To Ukrainian Corruption Scandal)
Denmark announced last month it will increase defense spending by $660 million to hit the NATO benchmark of 2% of GDP going toward the country’s military budget. Denmark has sent some military aid to Ukraine as it defends itself from a Russian invasion, including 19 new French self-propelled artillery guns last week.
Denmark does not, however, intend to send Ukraine any of its Leopard tanks, despite Germany and the U.S. signing off on tank deliveries to Kyiv in recent days. Some in Denmark have expressed concern that further military aid could weaken Copenhagen’s ability to defend itself against future aggression, according to Bloomberg.