March 30
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Denmark plans to introduce mandatory military service for women as the Scandinavian country seeks to significantly increase the size of its armed forces, Bloomberg reported.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said the move could help Denmark meet its NATO membership requirements, but would also be beneficial to the armed forces if there were more women in their ranks.

Currently, women can serve in the military on a voluntary basis, while men are usually required to serve if they are drafted under the lottery system.

There are only ten countries that conscript both men and women. Norway, the first NATO country to impose compulsory military service for women as an act of gender equality, and conscripts both sexes under the same conditions.

Countries such as Israel, Myanmar, Eritrea, Libya, Malaysia, North Korea, Peru and Tunisia conscript women into their armed forces, but vary in length of service and have exceptions.

Other countries, such as Finland, Turkey, Lithuania, Singapore, and South Korea, still use a conscription system that requires only men to serve, although women are allowed to serve voluntarily.

Denmark's defense minister announced the plan when his department released the findings of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's biennial report, which criticized Denmark for not investing enough in its armed forces, mostly on land and at sea.

The ministry did not publish the full report, as it had done in previous years, citing the current security policy situation and Russian aggression.

The report was prepared before Denmark said last month that it wants to increase defense spending by 4.5 billion kroner ($660 million) to reach 2 percent of gross domestic product in 2030.

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