The Canadian Armed Forces is looking to redesign uniforms worn by female troops, making the skirts shorter and tighter, in an effort to increase the number of women in the military, according to strategy documents.
The documents, containing proposals from 2017 to 2019, were obtained by the Ottawa Citizen, who published a report revealing their contents on Monday.
Recruiting analysts noted in the documents that women now make up more than 50 percent of Canada’s population but only constitute 15.9 percent of those serving in the CAF, the Citizen reported.
The CAF aims to bump that number up to 25 percent by 2026.
The analysts outlined the challenges the CAF faces when it comes to female recruitment.
According to them, women are uncomfortable “with a profession that involves combat” and the “potential of killing people (especially innocent people).”
They are also worried about sexual harassment, analysts cited in the documents said.
The CAF has formed a specialized “Tiger Team” to explore the issue of female recruitment.
One of the problems the “Tiger Team” identified had to do with current uniforms.
The organization that selects the Canadian military’s styles is “composed of middle-aged males whose outlook is not reflective of current trends amongst the target demographic,” the team explained and said at least 25 percent of members on the Canadian Armed Forces Dress Committee should be women.
The team also suggested current skirts issued to female troops should be slimmer and shorter.
Another proposal involved a recruiting ad aimed at young women.
The concept for the video called for a female soldier to take her helmet off as “male and female co-workers gather and agree to having a camp fire at a sandy beach.”
Afterwards, the group would “grill marshmallows, laughing and relaxing.”
The “Tiger Team” said this video would show “friendship.”
Other suggestions contained in the documents proposed a social media post with an image of a female soldier throwing a grenade.
“Of course I throw like a girl but I never miss,” the caption would read.
Some Canadian commenters criticized the CAF’s recruitment methods.
“That’s not an especially flattering portrayal of female values,” wrote National Post columnist Marni Soupcoff in response to the plan to shorten women’s skirts.
- A female soldier.: Screen grab