Navigation

Swiss army looks at how to attract more women

Last year the head of the Swiss army, Thomas Süssli, said he wanted to increase the number of women in military roles from the present level to 10% by 2030. Keystone / Peter Schneider

A defence ministry report has outlined measures to encourage the integration in the Swiss army of more women, who currently hold 0.9% of military roles.

This content was published on March 8, 2021 - 12:05
Keystone-SDA(sb

To mark International Women’s Day on Monday, the ministry published a long-awaited reportExternal link entitled “Women in the Army”, drawn up by a defence working group. It includes a series of measures to boost the percentage of Swiss women in military roles.

One of the main proposals is the creation of a special service for women aimed at promoting and coordinating female participation in the army. A more in-depth external study on the situation of women in the army has been commissioned.

To encourage higher involvement, the report says it is important to encourage “the reconciliation between military service, training, work and family life”.

Professional military personnel must be given the opportunity to work part-time and childcare issues must be clarified, it added.

It also advocated additional training for army officers to help them deal with cases of discrimination, sexism and violence.

Army accommodation must also be renovated or built to ensure it is correctly adapted for female recruits.

‘Motivated and involved’

Last year the head of the Swiss army, Thomas Süssli, said he wanted to increase the number of women in military roles from the present level to 10% by 2030.

“In our experience, women in the military are especially motivated and involved. They often bring fresh ways of thinking,” Süssli said.

All able-bodied Swiss men are called up to do military service from the age of 19. If declared fit for military service – as on average two-thirds of conscripts are – the only way out is to opt for civilian community service on ethical grounds. Military service is optional for women.

Share this story

Join the conversation!

With a SWI account, you have the opportunity to contribute on our website.

You can Login or register here.