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Women in Swiss military can finally wear women’s underwear

Women in Swiss military can finally wear women's underwear
New underwear is ready for female soldiers. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
Six months after the promise was made, women in the Swiss military no longer have to wear men's underwear.

In the spring, the Swiss Army announced that it would start a test program to procure new underwear made specifically for female members of the country’s military.

Although the initial test phase was to begin on April 1st, this was no joke: Defense Minister Viola Amherd, long an advocate of boosting the presence of women in the Swiss army, has welcomed the change. 

READ MORE: Women in Swiss military no longer forced to wear men’s underwear

Only 1 percent of Swiss soldiers are female at the moment, but this announcement caught the eye of international media — both BBC in the UK and CNN in the US reported this news.

The test phase has been successfully completed and the undies are now ready for use, according to Kaj-Gunnar Sievert, spokesperson for the army’s procurement office, Armasuisse. 

The testing took several months, Sievert explained, because of “deficiencies in the cut. The area of ​​the leg cutouts needed to be adjusted. In addition, a cotton insert is incorporated into the gusset, which additionally increases the wearing comfort”.

Summer and winter underwear are being distributed to female soldiers.

Armasuisse has not provided photographs of the new models, but one soldier, Ada, is quoted in the Swiss media on Monday, describing the summer panties as “close-fitting, without legs, with a low cuff, in olive green”.

For the cold days, the army distributes a long-sleeved shirt, long underpants and an under- jacket.

In all, 200 people took part in the test, which included all ages and different figure types. So far, this military project cost taxpayers13,0000 francs, although the price will go up when (and if) more women join the armed forces.

More underwear news

At the same time as the testing of army panties started, another “underwear project” was getting off the ground — or, more accurately — in the ground.

Scientists at the University of Zurich and Agroscope, an institution which conducts environmental research, asked Switzerland’s residents to bury two pairs of cotton underwear along with six tea bags, in a field, meadow or garden. In all, 2,000 undies were to be burries.

The condition of the panties after being dug out several months later would indicate the quality of the soil  — the more decomposed the garment, the better the soil.

Before and after: Disintegration is a sign of healthy soil. Photo by University of Zurich

This news too, circulated around the world — it was published in a newspaper in New York and in an Indian province of Odisha.

READ MORE: Why Swiss scientists are asking people to bury underwear?


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