Speech/statement | Date: 08/01/2007
Diversity and Gender Equality
By the Minister of Defence, Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen
To create a dynamic and well functioning military organisation, the Armed Forces depend on a diversity of human resources. An important personal goal for me is that the Armed Forces shall reflect the multi-ethnic and socially diverse nature of our society.
We need to attract more women to the defence sector. Women have the same rights as men to all positions, both military and civilian, in our Armed Forces. Yet, our organisation is still essentially male dominated. Only seven percent of our military personnel, including those on contract, are women – and we want to increase this number! Through tailored campaigns and inviting young women to attend voluntary military classification interviews, the Armed Forces want to make it clear that women are needed, wanted and welcome in the Forces.
Over recent decades Norway has become an ethnically multicultural country. The Armed Forces need to draw on the experience and the knowledge which the different cultural groups represent. Cultural competence is a central factor for success when international operations are planned and executed. Both at home and abroad our Armed Forces should be a showcase for our democratic political system based on human rights, ethnic diversity and gender equality.
Minister of Defence