Taiwan to allow women into military reserve force training as China fears grow

The content originally appeared on: CNN

Hong Kong

Taiwan’s military on Tuesday rolled out plans to allow women to volunteer for reserve force training for the first time, as China continues to ramp up military pressure on the democratic self-ruled island.

The Taiwanese Defense Ministry said it will allow 220 discharged female soldiers to enroll in the training starting from the second quarter of this year.

Maj. Gen. Yu Wen-cheng, from the ministry’s All-Out Defense Mobilization Agency, said the move would be on a trial basis for this year.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry has previously said it only trained male reservists because it did not have sufficient capacity to accommodate both sexes.

Taiwanese lawmakers had said excluding women from reserve training amounted to gender discrimination.

In December, Taiwan announced that it will extend the period of mandatory military service for all eligible men from four months to a year starting from 2024, and the requirement will apply to men born after 2005.

This is a developing story. More details to follow.