How many countries in the world conscript women? Just eight.
Myanmar, Israel, North Korea, Venezuala, Morocco, Portugal, Norway and Sweden and half of those come with an asterisk footnote.
- North Korea has “selective” conscription of women (meaning not all).
- Norway has mandatory military service for all but in practice, no one is forced to serve against their will.
- Sweden has mandatory service for all, but alternative service is acceptable.
- Portugal’s mandatory service requirement is “symbolic” for both men and women – those who are 18 must attend a one-day National Defense Day program that informs all young people about military functions.
The above list does not include countries, like the U.S., which has a Selective Service System (or “draft”) set up for males only.
Through most of the world, women appear to be exempt from conscription or mandatory military service.
In the U.S., about 10% of all veterans are women. As of 2018, about 16.5% of active-duty personnel were women and that figure is expected to slowly rise. The U.S. military, like many in the world today, is volunteer, not conscripted.