Gender Equality in Military Draft: Germany Contemplates Inclusion of Women

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jul.04 - 2024 10:42 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Minister Pistorius has proposed a "selective military service" model.

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Germany is currently revisiting its stance on military conscription, with Inspector General Carsten Breuer advocating for women to be included in any potential reintroduction of mandatory military service.

Should Apply to Both

According to Ziare the country abolished compulsory military service in 2011 but retains provisions for its reinstatement in times of war or heightened tensions.

The recent conflict initiated by Russia against Ukraine has reignited discussions within Germany about the adequacy of its armed forces. This debate has prompted Defense Minister Boris Pistorius to propose a new military service model aimed at bolstering military personnel.

In an interview with the German media group RND, Carsten Breuer highlighted the need for gender equality in military service, suggesting that if mandatory military service were to be reintroduced, it should apply equally to both men and women. Currently, under German law, only men are subject to compulsory military service if reinstated, while women can volunteer.

"Selective Military Service"

Minister Pistorius has proposed a "selective military service" model, involving a six-month basic military service obligation, with an option for voluntary additional service of up to 17 months. This model aims to recruit individuals who are deemed most suitable and motivated for military training.

Breuer expressed his support for Pistorius's recruitment model, emphasizing its importance for enhancing Germany's military capabilities, particularly in alignment with NATO planning. He noted Germany's significant role within the Western alliance and the need to expand the pool of military personnel, including additional reservists.

In comparison, the United States already practices gender-neutral selective service registration, requiring both men and women to register for the draft when they turn 18 years old. This policy was formalized after the Pentagon lifted the ban on women in combat roles in 2013, signifying a move towards gender equality in military service obligations.