Women in the Swiss army no longer have to wear men’s underwear

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Women in the Swiss army no longer need to wear MEN’S underwear to attract more female recruits

  • All service personnel in the Swiss army are provided with men’s underwear
  • But from April onwards, women will be getting women’s underwear in a new pilot project
  • It is part of Switzerland’s effort to bring more women into the military
  • Only 1 percent of the Swiss army is made up of women, a low number in Europe

Women serving in the Swiss army will no longer have to wear men’s underwear on a pilot project next month.

Currently, all soldiers in the Swiss army are provided with the same standard military clothing, that is, men’s underwear for everyone regardless of gender.

But under the new project starting in April, female soldiers will be allowed to wear women’s underwear instead.

Defense Minister Viola Amherd, who has advocated increasing the presence of women in Switzerland’s ranks, has welcomed the change.

“The clothes are designed for men, but if the military is to really become more feminine, appropriate measures are needed,” she said, announcing the testing phase in April.

According to Armasuisse (the Swiss Federal Office of Defense Procurement) spokesman Kaj-Gunnar Sievert, “the two specific functional undergarments for women – short underwear (summer) and long underwear (winter) – will be tested in April.”

Women serving in the Swiss army will no longer have to wear men's underwear on a pilot project next month.  Pictured: Swiss Army reservists wearing protective face masks arrive at Moudon military base on November 8, 2020

Women serving in the Swiss army will no longer have to wear men’s underwear on a pilot project next month. Pictured: Swiss Army reservists wearing protective face masks arrive at Moudon military base on November 8, 2020

Standard underwear – which, according to Sievert, has been in use since the 1980s – is perhaps just one of a number of factors deterring women from joining the Swiss army, which is lagging behind other European countries.

According to. Only one percent of the military in Switzerland is made up of women The localIn comparison, the Swedish army is 18 percent women, 15 percent in France and 12 percent in Germany and Norway.

Switzerland hopes to increase the number to 10 percent by 2030.

“The old generation of uniforms was not sufficiently tailored to the specific needs of women,” says Sievert. “Against this background, purchasing the latest equipment is just as important for women as it is for men.”

Sievert also noted that it was important for the test to include women of different heights and shapes, “otherwise none of this makes sense.”

Major Tamara Moser, project manager of the Army and Women Inclusion program and the first woman on the board of the Swiss Officers’ Society, has criticized the Swiss Army’s lack of gender diversity.

“ Since 2004, the military has not taken the necessary steps to include women in the military structurally and culturally, ” she told Swiss news center Watson

Women have been allowed to join the Swiss military since 2004, performing exactly the same duties as men, but under conditions with uncomfortable underwear and accommodation deemed inappropriate for women, according to a federal report on women in the Swiss military.

Marianne Binder, a member of the Swiss Central National Council, recognized that more needed to be done, but that the underwear change was a step in the right direction.

“Given the many positive reactions to this advance, I realized how many people wear uniforms from morning to night, not just in the military; and everyone says it’s a matter of appreciation, ”she said.

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