Monday January 17, 2022

Measures underway to improve gender equality in military service

Published : 27 Nov 2021, 01:58

Updated : 27 Nov 2021, 02:01

  DF Report

DF File Photo.

Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen considers the development proposals of the Parliamentary Committee on National Defence Obligation and Conscription reasonable.

A significant part of the proposals can be implemented without legislative amendments, said the Ministry of Defence in a press release on Friday.

"It is easier and quicker to influence some of the objectives and this can be carried out within the administrative branch. Several aims require more extensive assessment and preparation," Kaikkonen said.

Even without legislative amendments, the number of those starting military service can be increased by developing the assessment of fitness for service and by introducing new service duties, for example. Voluntary service can attract more women through targeted and active communications.

Gender equality will be increased by starting the preparation of the call-up system reform and by combining the assignment-for-service events for women and men.

Some of the measures to develop gender equality are already under way, such as continuing the shared quartering experiment and shortening the time during which women have the right to discontinue service upon their notification.

"I would like to emphasise that many of the development measures are cross-administrative in their nature and that other administrative branches play a significant role in them," Kaikkonen said.

"We must ensure that any further development measures take place in close cooperation between the necessary parties. For example, the objective set by the Committee to develop call-ups must be carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

In addition, the number of drop-outs can be reduced by developing the initial questionnaire and selection system for those starting the service in order to match them with the most suitable positions. It is essential that the skills acquired during military service can be utilised later in studies or work.

The position of reservists will become more important as part of the reform of local defence. At the same time, the prospect of raising the upper age limit for reservists will be examined.