Addressing an event on the occasion of International Woman’s Day organized by the Hellenic National Defense General Staff yesterday in Athens, Greek Minister of National Defense Nikos Dendias, referred to the prospect of the voluntary enlistment of Greek women in the army within the broader framework of changes under consideration by the Ministry of National Defense for the Greek Armed Forces.

Dendias presented his general idea on how he envisioned women being integrated voluntarily into the citizen army noting that “the overwhelming majority of Greek society believes in the citizen army. It believes very much in the armed citizen.”

Clarifying that the core of the Greek army would always consist of professional soldiers, Dendias, with an eye on Turkey, said that the reality of numbers simply compelled the country to consider a citizen army.

The head of the Greek Defense Ministry emphasized that “in the geopolitical context in which we operate, and in the numerical context, we have to face a threat from a country much larger than us, which will approach or even exceed 100 million by the middle of the century, while we will be at 11-12 million.”

Referring to female military personnel he said it was nonsensical to exclude half the population from this consideration when considering the idea of a Citizen Army.

“By resorting to our female population, we are not 11.5 million, we become 22 million. You will notice that the participation rate of women in the army (of our neighboring country) is around 0.3% compared to our very good one,” he said.

As Dendias noted, while a law addressing this issue was already in place, the question was how the implementation of this provision would extend to female volunteers, reiterating the voluntary nature of women’s military enlistment.

The initial idea is expected to be presented by the Minister and the leadership of the Armed Forces with the aim, according to Dendias, to examine the best possible way “to exploit the human capital of our homeland, not only at the level of our personnel but also at the level of voluntary enlistment.”