Women have strengthened army, says military association

Women have strengthened army, says military association
Photo: DPA
Women have been able to join the German military for ten years, and Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Sohst, regional chairman of the German Army Association (DBwV), believes the Bundeswehr is better for it.

Speaking to news agency DAPD in Bonn, Sohst said the introduction of women into the armed forces had enriched the country’s military.

At the start of 2001, women were enlisted into the German military for the first time, with 244 women joining up. Today, there are 17,300 women in the Bundeswehr, 9.2 percent of all soldiers.

“Women are part of normal society, and so they have become a normal part of the army,” Sohst said. The fact that no woman had yet been promoted to general or colonel was down to the fact that women had only been part of the armed forces for a decade, he added.

But Sohst believes that the Bundeswehr will soon see its first female battalion or brigade commanders.

Sohst said the army had not yet successfully managed to balance work and family life for its women. “We’re not at the end of the road on that yet,” he said, saying that new rules for protecting mothers and providing parental allowance were needed.

The lieutenant colonel suggested that one solution would be to have two people temporarily taking over a position while someone else is on parental leave.


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