Denmark plans compulsory military conscription for women, as the Nordic country seeks to significantly boost the size of its armed forces.

The move can help Denmark meet its requirements under its Nato membership.

It would also be “beneficial” for the military if it had more women employed, Danish Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said in an interview with broadcaster TV2.

Currently, women can join on a voluntary basis while men generally are required to serve if they are called on under a lottery system.

The new measure has the backing of several women’s organisations and comes as Denmark, like the rest of Europe, provides increasing levels of support to Ukraine in the war to oust Russia from the country.

The Defence Minister announced the plan as his office published the conclusions of a biannual report by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which criticised Denmark for failing to invest enough in its military, mainly on land and at sea.