In addition to joint housing, the Finnish Armed Forces is considering to merge the selection of female volunteers with male conscripts, in order to step up integration, promote equality and boost troop morale. Lieutenant Colonel Juho Raulo of the Uusimaa Regional Headquarters ventured that the system does not distinguish the conscripts based on their ethnic background or beliefs and consequently sees no reason to do so based on their sex.
"I do not understand why you cannot not sleep in the same house, when you still go to war together," Juho Raulo told Finnish military newspaper Ruotaväki. "If women were treated in the same cycle as men, it would facilitate the practical work and also generate cost savings."
At present, male and female conscripts share accommodation at camps and on Navy ships, but not at army barracks. According to Colonel Petteri Tervonen of the Defense Command, there are good examples from the other Nordic countries, where joint cabins allegedly have led to a more equal treatment of enlisted women.
"Not only separate do cabins for women and men reduce cohesion, they also make it more difficult to organize the training," Petteri Tervonen told Yle.
"Dressing after shower may become a little awkward with 10 men in the room," Johanna Norrgård told Yle.
Chairman of the Finnish Servicemen Union Juuso Kurttila argued that co-housing would strengthen the sense of unity among soldiers of both sexes, however maintained that girls still should be allocated separate locker rooms.
In 2016, Finnish female soldiers brought it to the media's attention that parts of the uniform, such as pants with braces, were not adjusted to women, forcing them to undress themselves "almost naked" to ease themselves.
A poll by Yle revealed mixed reactions to the co-housing proposal among Finns, with 59 percent of respondents arguing the situation was perfectly normal the way it was and 41 percent supporting the change.
Women were granted the right to serve in the army in 1995, and their percentage has been rising ever since.
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