Hot on the heels of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel‘s decision to allow women into the ranks of the US special forces, recent poll results suggest that the country is ready to go a step further. 59 percent of Americans say they support female eligibility for the military draft.
Florida-based CapitalSoup.com and the Mason-Dixon Polling and Research firm teamed up to conduct the survey, which found that support for the lady draft was split along gender and party lines. 61 percent of women like the idea, while only 35 percent of men agree. A mere 35 percent of female voters believe that the draft should remain closed to women.
Unsurprisingly, the poll of 1,000 registered voters also found that Democrats were much more likely to support drafting women than Republicans. 80 percent of registered Democrats support the draft versus 53 percent of registered Republicans, bringing the overall percentage of respondents who want women drafted to nearly sixty.
Across the Atlantic, the first European nation moved overwhelmingly to open its military draft to women last week. Norway’s Parliament, which has championed many other gender-equality measures, voted to conscript women into its armed forces. According to the Norwegian Ministry of Defense, females already makes up one tenth of the military.
Under the new Pentagon policy, ladies may now become Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, or front-line Marines. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta laid the foundation for Hagel’s move in January by ending the military’s combat ban for women, stripping away the last vestiges of rules limiting female roles in the armed forces.