OSLO, Norway – Mandatory military service in Norway should in the future be extended to all citizens, regardless of gender, according to a resolution backed by a broad majority in the country’s parliament Friday.

Defense chief Harald Sunde said he was “very happy” about the move, saying “it has not been a good solution that we could only draw on half the Norwegian youth as conscripts.”

The resolution adopted Friday urged the government to push ahead with legislation on gender neutral conscription. This was expected to be completed this year and presented in the spring of 2014.

Since only the Christian Democrats, a minority opposition party, were against the move, the planned bill was expected to sail through the legislature.

Current law says all men ages 19 to 44 are obliged to military service for up to 19 months. The first tour of duty comprises 12 months. There are provisions for conscientious objectors.

The military estimated that, each year, about 10,000 conscripts out of an eligible pool of 60,000 carry out the initial 12-month tour of duty.

Women have in recent years been able to volunteer and constitute about 10 percent of the total.

The government said it aimed to double that by 2020.

The country has, in the past, endorsed moves toward gender equality, such as in 2003, when it implemented a quota for female board members.