From 2026, women in Denmark will also have to carry out compulsory military service. This was announced by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, explaining that this is a measure aimed at achieving “full equality between the sexes”. With the decision, Denmark is set to become the third European country, along with Norway and Sweden, to require women to serve in the armed forces. Among the other innovations announced by the Danish government is the extension of the duration of military service, which will increase from 4 to 11 months for both men and women. That's not all: Copenhagen announced its intention to increase its defense budget by almost 6 billion in total over the next 5 years, in order to achieve the objectives requested by NATO from its member countries.

“We are not rearming because we want war. We are rearming because we want to avoid it,” said Social Democratic Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen also spoke about the decision to include women in the service military, adding: “A more robust conscription, which includes full gender equality, must help solve the challenges of defense, national mobilization and equipment of our armed forces.” To this day, women in Denmark can participate in military service as volunteers. In 2023, 4,700 people served in the military, about 25% of them women. The Danish Armed Forces currently has around 20,000 active military personnel, including around 9,000 professional soldiers.

Cover photo: EPA/Liselotte Sabroe | The Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, during a press conference in Copenhagen (March 13, 2024)

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