Defense forces launch campaign to attract more female conscripts

EDF conscripts' boots on the ground.
EDF conscripts' boots on the ground. Source: Karl Jakob Toplaan

"Women, you are welcome in the Estonian Defence Forces!" is the message behind a new campaign launched to attract more women to the Estonian armed forces.

The campaign "Women into Uniform!" went live earlier this week and introduces career opportunities in the Estonian Defence Forces and busts conscript service myths.

Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet (Reform) said women have the opportunity to complete conscript service and contribute to protecting the homeland by being in service in any positions in the Estonian Defence Forces. 

"Both men and women in the conscript service have equal opportunities to demonstrate their strengths and abilities, and later, to enter into active service. However, the field of national defence is still engulfed in many misleading myths and ignorance, which is why many women do not even consider this as a possible career path," Laanet said, explaiing the need for the campaign.

He noted that even although the proportion of women in national defence is increasing each year, women occupy only about 10 percent of the active service positions in the Estonian Defence Forces.

Lannet also said there is no pay gap in the Estonian Defence Forces and the average salary for servicemen is maintained at a 30 percent higher level than the average salary in Estonia. 

The campaign, aimed at young women aged 15-26, carried out by means of e-channels and social media, emphasizes the skills and strengths that a woman acquires from conscript service.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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