“Given the dwindling manpower resources, should females be conscripted?”Singapore is known as “The little red dot” on the world map due to its small geographical land mass as well as the limited natural resources available. As a result, it faces the constant threat of being attacked and invaded by neighbouring countries who perceive Singapore to be tiny and weak. In an effort to protect the nation, many have discussed the necessity of bringing women into the army given the scarce manpower resources. Although some may feel that females are physically weaker than men and should not be enlisted in the army, their presence is still essential in both the defence and the social sectors. Hence, females should ultimately still be conscripted.Point 1: In the 21st century, traditional mindsets are gradually being eroded and it is no longer a tradition for women to stay at home and take care of their children. Instead, they are given the choice to be educated as well and are more actively involved in pursuing their career. Hence, this does not exempt them from being involved in NS, especially when manpower resources in Singapore are scarce. Women might not be as physically strong as men, but given the number of women in our society, enlisting most of them in the army can certainly make a huge difference when protecting the nation as well as deterring other nations from attacking us. Today, women make up 33 per cent of the Israel Defence Forces, 15 per cent of the US military, and 7 per cent of the SAF regular forces. More than 90 per cent of the positions in the Israel Defence Forces are available to female soldiers. With other countries taking the lead to include women in their army, Singapore should also begin to amass power and start conscripting women as well. While it may be premature today to conclude that military conscription for two years for women will definitely become necessary, we need to start changing mindsets soon, otherwise it will be too late should the need actually arise one day.Point 2:Women will make the military smarter, more agile, and more equitable. Women are talented strategists, being adept negotiators and critical thinkers. Much has been made of recent studies showing that corporations with women board members tend to be more profitable. The Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY analyzed results from 21,980 global, publicly traded companies, in 91 countries from various industries and sectors and showed that having at least 30% of women in leadership positions adds 6% to the net profit margin of the country. Women’s perspectives and in fact, their very presence can influence discussions and lead to better decisions and better results. The military is no different. Singapore’s army is still heavily dominated by men, but by allowing women to make up a greater share of these organizations, they can bring louder, more confident female voices to the table, working to change policies and challenging the long-standing culture of the services. Point 3: Women should be enlisted in the army as it can teach them salient life skills and lessons, which are different from but no less important than their male counterparts. Currently, skills acquired during National Service will receive formal accreditation for both full-time and operationally ready NSmen to tap onto future career opportunities. When serving National Service, skills learnt such as leadership skills from training other enlistees, technical and specialist skills from handling various equipment will be recognised by the Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ), a national credentialing system for employees aimed at giving NSmen an advantage in the workforce. Not only will these skills increase the chances of finding a job, they also play a huge part in ensuring women’s success and survival in the future. In the next 50 years, Singapore will certainly need a far more comprehensive voluntary services sector, and national servicewomen could clearly contribute to their country in this area with the new skills gained.However, some may opine that getting women to help and serve in National Service is tantamount to getting young women to perform cheap labour in place of foreign nurses on full wages, rendering it unfair for them to do so. Nevertheless, while conscripting women for social purposes would indeed supplement and to some degree even replace foreign professional caregivers, there is nothing wrong with doing so. It will be a bleak and dismal Singapore when our own citizens do not feel it is their duty to perform vital tasks critical for the well-being of our society, on the grounds that it can be equally performed by foreign workers. Singapore is one of the fastest ageing countries in the world, and there already is a lack of trained nurses to service current hospital needs. By getting women to serve and learn skills in the social sector through National Service, they can fill in this gap and potentially solve the problem brought about by our ageing population.In conclusion, women should be enlisted in the army. Not only can they benefit themselves from gaining precious life skills from this experience, they can also benefit the community by applying these skills and helping the needy as well as add value to our army. This is especially true due to the lack of manpower resources in Singapore, and it is only imperative for the government to do so.