women in the Finnish military

Red Guard during the Finnish Civil War

The Finnish Defense Forces does not conscript women. However, since 1995, women between 18 and 30 years of age have the possibility of voluntarily undertaking military service in the Defence Forces or in the Border Guard. Women generally serve under the same conditions as men.
Members of Lotta Svärd in air control duty during the Continuation War
The history of women in the Finnish military is, however, far longer than just since 1995. During theFinnish Civil War, the Reds had several Naiskaarti (Women's Guard) units made of voluntary 16- to 35-year-old women, who were given rudimentary military training. The reactions on women in military were ambivalent during the Civil War.
The non-combat duties in Finnish Defence Forces peace-keeping operations opened to women in 1991. Since 1995 the women are allowed to serve in all combat arms including front-line infantry and special forces both in Finland and in operations outside Finland.


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