Columns Conscription for men only is Finland’s most egregious issue of equality

“I dont want, that I am practically released from the duty of national defense just because I am a woman. I am physically fit and have no good reason not to go to work. That is equally my duty. ”

That’s what he said in a story published on Tuesday (HS 6.7.) Rookie Lotta Sandroos, who has just started her voluntary military service in the Pori Brigade.

Sandroos’s message is irresistible. It also burns directly through the world’s rare authentic people’s army, the armor of the Finnish Defense Forces. It’s like a fiery iron you don’t want to touch because you can burn your keys in it.

It is, of course, a matter of women’s military service. Or from another angle, considering that only half of Finns are conscripts.

Only men Conscription is Finland’s most egregious equality issue. If conscription had ever only concerned women, then the matter would have been taken off the agenda long ago.

There is an established way of talking about general military service in Finland. It’s an expression that should get rid of because it shatters ugly in the ear. Conscription is not universal. In fact, only a good third of the entire Finnish age group can perform military service today.

Even the Chairman of the Parliamentary Conscription Committee Ilkka Kanerva (Coalition Party) granted to HS last year, conscription is not universal or universal. Kanerva aptly spoke of “impression lyricism”. However, such lyricism should no longer be part of Finnish national defense thinking. In a small country, one cannot afford to talk about national defense by names other than real ones.

It will be interesting to see what language the parliamentary committee set up for the development of conscription will use when it completes its work next autumn. The hard thing itself, namely the inequality of military service, is not afraid to address it. You can bet on mess coffee in any garrison.

Defense Forces the goal is to get about 2,000 women into voluntary military service each year. That’s how the Defense Forces calculates the need for women to compensate for shrinking male classes. Basically, the point is that Finland’s armed defense needs all men and women in good condition. The reality, however, is that Finland can only afford a certain size of armed forces, for whose tasks during the war it is enough for two-thirds of the male class to receive armed training.

Voluntary military service for women has been possible since 1995. 430–1,675 women have applied for employment each year. Now there are more than 10,000 of them, a whole division.

The number of women conscripts has been growing for more than ten years. That is why it has often been customary to report or say a little carelessly that women are interested in military service. That, too, is not exactly the case. In reality, the majority of women are not interested in military service and do not apply for voluntary military service. There are fewer women opting for voluntary military service than men opting for civilian service, which is about seven percent of the male class.

Defense and military language is full of clichés and lyricists that cannot withstand further thought, such as that “national defense belongs to all” or that “national defense is needed by all”. They are hard to take seriously if not even the basics are spoken by their real names.

Incidentally, the rookie Sandroos mentioned at the beginning is not in favor of compulsory military service for women:

“I’m by no means saying that everyone should act like me and go to the military,” he ponders.

“It is a personal decision and a great commitment to be ready to defend the country armed.”

Well said.

The author is an editor of HS.

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