One in two German female soldiers report sexual abuse

Agence France Presse

Published — Friday 24 January 2014

Last update 24 January 2014 7:32 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

BERLIN: One in two female soldiers in the German military says she has encountered some kind of sexual abuse at least once while in the armed forces, an internal study published Friday found.
The report, released by the Bundeswehr’s Center of Military History and Social Studies in the eastern city of Potsdam, prompted new Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen to call for new measures to address problems faced by women in uniform.
Fifty-five percent of women in the Bundeswehr reported some kind of sexual mistreatment on the job, with 47 percent citing verbal abuse, 25 percent saying they had been confronted with pornographic images and 24 percent telling researchers they had experienced “unwanted sexually motivated physical contact.”
Three percent said they had suffered sexual assault.
Von der Leyen, Germany’s first female defense chief, said the poll conducted in 2011 among 3,058 women showed the military must change the way it deals with its female soldiers, who make up 10.1 percent of the armed forces.
“We have to make the Bundeswehr significantly more attractive for women,” she told reporters, adding that it must be made “more visible” how much the Bundeswehr benefits from the growing number of women in its ranks.
However a parallel poll of 1,771 male soldiers showed growing resentment of gender diversity.
More than 56 percent said women made the military worse, up from around 52 percent in 2005.
Twelve percent of the male soldiers reported experiencing sexual harassment.
Earlier this month, von der Leyen said she would make creating a more family-friendly army a priority during her term by allowing soldiers to work part-time and extending childcare.
US President Barack Obama in December gave the Pentagon a year to confront a scourge of sexual assaults that have sparked calls for commanders to lose the power to adjudicate such crimes.
The US military in August launched a raft of measures to combat sexual assaults, but their action did not appease some lawmakers who want much stronger steps to deal with hundreds of alleged offenses from harassment to rape.
Sexual abuse cases in the military are on the rise, according to a Pentagon report, rising to 3,374 in 2012, a six percent increase from the previous year.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani has launched a series of electronic projects and facilities provided to the private sector companies, the SPA reported on Sunday.The projects and facilities include electronic visa issuance for the distinguis...
RIYADH: A high-powered team of officials from the Ministry of Health visited the hospitals in Jazan in the southern border to ensure services are in place to serve the patients in the region.The group of officials, comprising Dr. Nahar Al-Azmi, Dr. T...
YANBU: Like many Saudi women, Amani dreamt of becoming a mother, but was unable to have children of her own after many years of marriage. Therefore, she decided to spend her time taking care of orphans with special circumstances in Makkah.However, th...
RIYADH: A total of 43 warehouses were shut down in Jeddah for failing to take safety and health measures.Officials of the general department of Civil Defense in Jeddah carried out inspection at 165 industrial complexes in the industrial zone recently...
JEDDAH: A quarrel between two girls at the Al-Zahour Orphanage in Makkah took a violent turn recently, with one of them reportedly using a sharp instrument to attack the other and injuring her.The attacker was sent to a correction center, while the i...
RIYADH: A woman and three men died on Sunday after contracting the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Riyadh, bringing the total number of deaths to 507 since June, 2012.According to the latest report issued by the Ministry of...

Stay Connected