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Russian female soldiers on parade; Norwegian female conscript

Plea for Russian girls to be conscripted for military service

According to Russian law, all male citizens aged between 18-27 are obliged to serve in the military for one year. But it excludes women.

Published: August 7, 2017, 9:38 am

    Moscow

    Tatyana Moskalkova, Russia’s human rights activist believes Russian women should not be an exception. Moskalkova spoke during the National Educational Youth Forum “Terra Scientia”, according to the Russian Legal Information Agency, RAPSI.

    “Maybe I will not get support from everyone here, but I think that our girls’ right for conscription service as privates is infringed. They cannot get permission for this and this is wrong.”

    The Russian Educational Youth Forum “Terra Scientia” was opened last month, on June 27. The conference is held on the Klyazma River bank in the Vladimir Region, 200 kilometers from Moscow, by the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, the Public Chamber and the Center of civil and patriotic education.

    The Defense Ministry commented on the ombudsman’s remarks, stating that the manning of forces is currently accomplished with conscripted recruits and contract servicemen, and that women’s rights were not being infringed upon.

    Moreover, the ministry stated that conscription for men is a duty, not a right, while women can join the forces voluntarily and reach any rank – from private soldier to general.

    Currently more than 45 000 women are doing army service. Most of them are serve in the signals corps, logistics units, medical service corps, and at military colleges and universities, TASS reported.

    Exceptions are allowed for people with health problems, single providers with pensioner parents or small children, as well as a few other groups.

    In the name of gender equality, Norway introduced compulsory military service for women last year, even bunking them in mixed dorms with men, AFP reported.

    Almost a third of the Norwegian army conscripts born in 1997 were women this summer at the Setermoen army base just above the Arctic Circle.

    Norwegian women have been able to volunteer for military service for almost 40 years now, but in 2013, at a time when the prime minister was current NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, a virtually unanimous parliament passed a law applying military conscription to both sexes.

    It is the first NATO member and European country to draft both men and women, joining a small group of countries, including Israel.

    ”We see that exposure to each other increases tolerance, acceptance and understanding toward each other,” insists Nina Hellum, a researcher at the Norwegian Research Defence Establishment.

    A recent survey conducted by the Norwegian army showed that an overwhelming majority of female soldiers are in favour of unisex dorms. But 18 percent still said they had been subjected to inappropriate comments or behaviour.

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