Cyprus’s present to women

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus plans to recruit Greek-Cypriot women as volunteers in its army of male conscripts, newspapers reported yesterday. «Call it a present on the occasion of International Women’s Day,» Defense Minister Socrates Hasikos said. But the drive for equality will not go as far as giving the women free uniforms, as is the case for men serving in the National Guard; it would cost too much, the Politis newspaper reported. The Defense Ministry wants to create a volunteer force of women between the ages of 18 and 40, going part of the way toward meeting the demands of some women’s groups for mandatory military service. All male Cypriot nationals over 18 – including the sons of Cypriot mothers and foreign fathers – serve a compulsory 26 months in the military. The National Guard has a number of female officers, who are mainly assigned to clerical duties.

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