by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) June 10, 2012
Germany's army, the Bundeswehr, aims to boost the number of its women soldiers from the current nine percent to 15 percent, its head told a Sunday newspaper.
"At present nine percent of all soldiers are women," army chief of staff General Volker Wieker said in an interview with Bild am Sonntag.
"Our goal is a combined ratio of 15 percent. It is to be clearly higher in the medical service, at 50 percent. But we are nearly at that today," he said.
Child care centres have already been set up at some larger bases, he said adding they would try and expand on that.
"It's quite clear, we must clearly improve compatibility of family and career," he added.
More than a year since Berlin decided to end conscription, Wieker said the army was facing no problem in winning new recruits. "The interest in the Bundeswehr is big," he said.
In May 2011, Germany adopted a major overhaul of the army aimed at slashing troop levels from 250,000 to some 185,000 to improve efficiency.
The plan foresees Germany having an exclusively professional force of about 170,000 soldiers, along with 5,000 to 15,000 short-term volunteer recruits.
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