Taiwan allows women to enter military reserve training as China’s concerns grow


Hong Kong
CNN

Taiwan’s military on Tuesday announced plans to allow women to volunteer for reservist training for the first time, as China continues to ramp up military pressure on the democratically self-ruled island.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said it would allow 220 demobilized female soldiers to enroll in the training starting from the second quarter of this year.

Major General Yu Wen Cheng, of the ministry’s comprehensive defense mobilization agency, said the move would be on a trial basis for this year.

The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense previously said that it only trained reservists because it did not have sufficient capacity to accommodate both sexes.

Taiwanese lawmakers said excluding women from reserve training amounted to gender discrimination.

In December, Taiwan announced that it would extend the compulsory military conscription period for all eligible men from four months to a year starting in 2024, and that requirement would apply to men born after 2005.

Taiwan has a military force of about 170,000 personnel, mostly volunteers, while it also trains about 120,000 reservists annually, according to the CIA World Factbook.

Males between the ages of 18 and 36 must either volunteer for service in the Army or perform a mandatory period of service in the Reserves.

Once discharged, the men undergo a training call-up on four occasions over the course of eight years.

As of 2021, women make up 15% of Taiwan’s military, but they mostly serve in non-combatant roles, according to the CIA Factbook.

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