Norway recruits women in armed forces

Norway recruits women in armed forces 26 August, 2016

Norway becomes first NATO country to introduce compulsory military service for all women  as well as men to recruit more talent. Male and female recruits will train together, eat together and share the same living quarters. Recently, the first batch of army recruits joined the ranks in The Armored Battalion in the Norwegian Army located in Setermoen in northern Norway.

In the name of gender equality, Norway has introduced compulsory military service for women. The military's gender balance is not entirely equal yet, but almost a third of the Norwegian army conscripts born in 1997 were women this summer.

Norwegian women have been able to volunteer for military service for almost 40 years now, helping to gradually feminise the armed forces. The military welcomed its first female helicopter pilot, female jet fighter pilot and female submarine commander already in the early 1990s.

Back in 2013, a virtually unanimous parliament passed a law applying military conscription to both sexes. The Scandinavian country become the first NATO member and European country to draft both men and women, joining a tiny group of countries around the world, including Israel.

European countries have had varying policies that confine women and military service or the extent of their participation in the national armed services of their respective countries, especially combatant roles in armed conflicts or hostile environments. While most of the countries have always allowed women to participate in military activities involving no direct aggression with the enemy, most began seeing the value of servicewomen in the armed services during the First World War when they began losing unprecedented numbers of servicemen. In modern times many of the European countries now allow women to voluntarily pursue a career path or profession in the national armed services of their country as well as permit conscription equality, with minimal or no restrictions at all.

Turkish women may only take part in military as officer or non-commissioned officer while US has recently passed a bill that allows women to take part at combatant positions.


Issue 86