New recruits in the Swiss army will be given the option of being issued with women’s underwear, reportedly in a bid to boost recruitment of women into the armed forces.
Under a trial beginning next month, women will be issued with two sets of underwear for the warmer and colder months.
The current uniforms worn by members of the armed forces have been in place since the 1990s, which has led according to the BBC to women being issued with loose-fitting and oversized men’s underwear.
A spokesperson for Armasuisse, the federal office for defence procurement, told VICE World News that the new combat clothing being trialled had been developed with the “ergonomics of women, among other things” being taken into account.
“Women and men will wear the same combat uniforms,” Kaj-Gunnar Sievert said via email.
“Since the previous army equipment and uniforms were too little or not at all geared to the specific needs of women, this important point was taken into account in the work. The only gender-specific difference is in the functional underwear for the women.”
Women have performed the same duties as men in the Swiss armed forces since reforms allowed women to join in 2004. But they only make up 1 percent of recruits, with defence chiefs reportedly wanting to increase that proportion to 10 percent.