Denmark wants to conscript more people for military service – including women

Denmark Wants To Conscript More People For Military Service – Including Women
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, © Ritzau/Scanpix
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By AP Reporters

Denmark wants to increase the number of young people doing military service by extending conscription to women and increasing the time of service from four months to 11 months for both genders, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said.

Ms Frederiksen told a press conference: “We do not rearm because we want war. We are rearming because we want to avoid it.”


She said the government wants “full equality between the sexes”.

Denmark currently has up to 9,000 professional troops on top of the 4,700 conscripts undergoing basic training, according to official figures. The government wants 5,000 extra conscripts.

Denmark ministers
The plans were outlined at a press conference in Copenhagen (Ritzau Scanpix via AP)


The country is a member of the Nato alliance and a staunch supporter of Ukraine in its war against Russia’s invasion.

Foreign minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen stressed that “Russia does not pose a threat to Denmark”.

“But we will not bring ourselves to a place where they could come to do that,” Mr Lokke Rasmussen said.

All physically fit men over the age of 18 are called up for military service, which lasts roughly four months. However, because there are enough volunteers, there is a lottery system, meaning not all young men serve.


Denmark press conference
Denmark stressed that there is no threat from Russia (Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

In 2023, there were 4,717 conscripts in Denmark. Women who volunteered for military service accounted for 25.1% of the cohort, according to official figures.

Defence minister Troels Lund Poulsen said the new system would require a change in the law, which he said will happen in 2025 and take effect in 2026.


In 2017, neighbouring Sweden instituted a military draft for both men and women because the Swedish government spoke of a deteriorating security environment in Europe and around Sweden.

The Scandinavian country had previously abolished compulsory military service for men in 2010 because there were enough volunteers to meet its military needs.

It never had a military draft for women before.

Norway introduced a law in 2013 applying military conscription to both sexes.


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