The German government is reportedly considering the implementation of a "gender-neutral" form of conscription to rescue its failing military. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)


German Government ‘considering gender-neutral conscription’


The German Government is reportedly considering the implementation of a “gender-neutral” form of conscription for its military.

With the country so far failing to find the 20,000 soldiers needed each year to keep its reserves stable, defence minister Boris Pistorius is said to be examining a number of major proposals aimed at revamping the Federal Republic’s military service system.

According to a report by Die Welt on May 10, the most viable of these is the mandatory drafting of both men and women over the age of 18.

This form of “gender-neutral conscription”, the publication said, is seen as having numerous advantages, with politicians even said to believe it would be more acceptable to the German public compared to conscription targeting just men.

Under the proposed system, all men and women aged 18 and above in the country would be required to complete a military questionnaire judging their suitability for the German Bundeswehr (armed forces), as well as other areas including fire departments and medical services.

Those deemed to be potentially acceptable would then be approached by officials for further testing.

Apart from being deemed more politically correct for the modern age, officials are also reportedly pleased with the idea that the proposal would pull in as large a pool as possible for conscription.

This, they are said to believe, would effectively make the conscription “essentially highly voluntary”, with the split burden also being viewed by lawyers as likely to be legally unproblematic.

Pistorious, though, is reportedly not fully satisfied with any of the proposals, with Die Welt describing the minister as requesting all of them to be reworked further before public presentation.

Germany’s ruling coalition is also said to be unconvinced, with the proposals said to have greater support among the opposition Christian Democrats than within the current Government.

To many, it seems unlikely that it is the idea of drafting women for war that is putting the left-wing coalition off, with ministers having previously made noises that they were upset at not being able to hit gender quotas in the military.

“A quota of 20 per cent is stipulated by law,” armed forces minister Eva Högl said on May 9.

The left-wing politician insisted that the Bundeswehr “can’t continue” to operate without hitting its female quota.