According to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, the country intends to expand the number of young people serving in the military by allowing women to be conscripted and lengthening the service period for both sexes from four months to eleven months. “We don’t rearm because we desire combat. We want to avoid it, which is why we are rearming,” Frederiksen stated during a press conference.

“Full equality between the sexes” is what the administration aspires to, she said.

Official data indicate that Denmark now has up to 9,000 professional troops in addition to 4,700 conscripts undergoing basic training. The goal of the government is to bring the overall number of conscripts to 5,000 by adding 300 more.

The nation is a devoted backer of Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s invasion and a member of the NATO alliance. It was emphasised by Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen that “Russia does not pose a threat to Denmark”. Lokke Rasmussen remarked, “But we will not put ourselves in a position where they could come to do that.”

For a four-month period, all physically fit men over the age of eighteen are drafted into the military. But not all young men serve because there is a lottery mechanism in place because there are enough volunteers.

There were 4,717 conscripts in Denmark in 2023. Among the cohort, women who volunteered for military duty made up 25.1%, according to government statistics.

The new approach will necessitate a change in the law, which Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen indicated will occur in 2025 and take effect in 2026.

According to Lund Poulsen, the state of European security policy “has become more and more serious, and we have to take that into account when we look at future defence”. He stated that “a more versatile and more complete defence” will result from “a broader basis for recruiting that includes all genders.”

The idea, which is expected to have support from a majority in the Danish parliament, calls for conscripts to serve six months in operational service after five months of basic training.

The government of Sweden, a neighbour, announced in 2017 that security in Europe and the surrounding area was deteriorating, leading to the implementation of a military conscription for both sexes. In 2010, the Scandinavian nation ended mandatory military service for men, citing an adequate number of volunteers to fulfil its armed forces. There had never been a female military draft in history. In 2013, Norway enacted a law requiring military conscription for all sexes.