German defence minister: Women make our military stronger

German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is convinced that the country’s military has grown stronger through the increasing number of women in its ranks.

“I thank our women for their tireless efforts – on land, in the air or sea, at home and abroad, visibly or in the background,” she said in comments marking International Women’s Day on Monday.

“Our Bundeswehr has become more diverse, more talented and stronger in the last few years – I believe in diverse teams!”

Including female non-uniform military personnel, the proportion of women in the German armed forces is around 20 per cent, according to the defence ministry.

The ministry aims to increase this figure significantly through targeted staff acquisition and development.

It will also make conscious efforts to dismantle career barriers, create more opportunities to combine work with family life and promote female managers.

Kramp-Karrenbauer stressed that the equal treatment of men and women, particularly financially, is an important concern.

“It goes without saying that we pay our women the same for their demanding service,” she said.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg ruled in January 2000 that German legislation completely excluding women from working with weapons violated the EU’s directive on professional equality between men and women.

As a result, all military career paths were officially fully opened up to women in 2001.

Previously, women had only been allowed to work in the military’s medical service or the music service.

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