More than a hundred thousand 17-year-old girls have received a letter stating that they are registered for military service. Previously, only boys received that letter.
A total of 212,000 letters have been sent to 17-year-old boys and girls, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said. “Girls and boys in this country have equal rights and equal obligations,” says Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld in a video on Twitter.
Compulsory attendance for military service has been officially suspended since 1997. No new conscripts have been called up since the year before. “But if the security of the Netherlands is ever seriously threatened again, the conscripts may have to go into the army,” said Bijleveld.
With this letter, the Minister does hope to arouse more interest in Defense among young women. Currently, about 10 percent of the military is female. “That is far too little,” says the minister. She therefore calls on “all girls in the Netherlands” to take a serious look at a job at Defense.