The Bundeswehr and Female Soldiers

The Integration of Women into the Armed Forces (2000–2015)

Authored by: Gerhard Kümmel

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Security Sector Reform (SSR)
Country: Germany
Region: Europe and Eurasia
Year: 2015
Citation: Kümmel, Gerhard. "The Bundeswehr and Female Soldiers: The Integration of Women into the Armed Forces (2000–2015)." Connections: The Quarterly Journal 14, no. 3 (2015): 61-86.

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Executive Summary

The turn of the new millennium represented a caesura for the Bundeswehr (German armed forces), because the composition of its personnel was to change quite dramatically following a decision by the European Court of Justice in January 2000, which demanded considerably more employment opportunities for women in the military as soldiers rather than solely in medical services as practiced before. In the years that followed, the number of female soldiers in the Bundeswehr increased from about 2% to about 10% by spring 2015.
The present article outlines the history of women’s participation in the German armed forces up through 2015. It summarizes the findings of the various empirical studies that the in-house research institute of the German Ministry of Defense and the Center of Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr have undertaken in this context. Lastly, these empirical findings are put into a theoretical context.