Of the country’s 200 generals just one is a woman, and she is in the medical services. "I want there to be more – in all the services," he said.
“Woman do the armed forces good in every respect,” de Maizière told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
Around nine percent of the armed forces were women, he said, which put Germany in the middle of international rankings.
De Maizière, 59, called for this proportion to increase to 15 percent by recruiting 10,000 more women. This would bring the number of women in the armed forces to 28,000. The entire number of armed forces personnel would then be 185,000, the paper said.
He said the armed forces had opened up all areas to women – including the special forces.
Women have been able to serve as regular soldiers in the German armed forces since 2001.
De Maizière said he would not enforce a quota to push up the number of women soldiers, but would rather try to make the armed forces more attractive to them.
"A central point is the compatibility of service and family. That is not only, but also about improved child are provision," he said.