VICTORIA -- The Canadian Armed Forces are challenging people – especially women – to try the FORCE fitness test on International Women's Day. The FORCE test is an annual, mandatory test that all members of the armed forces are required to take.

The military says having more women in the Armed Forces better represents Canada's society, and achieves equality.

"Come out and try it, put yourself to the test," said Navy Lieutenant Nicole Laurin. "You can do anything you put your mind to."

That's the message they are trying to send to women. The hope is to encourage them to challenge themselves and join the armed forces.

The FORCE test consists of four stations, each meant to simulate a task.

"It is actually not that difficult," Laurin said. "The most challenging part is just coming out and trying it."

Taking on the test is a challenge the forces hope people accept – especially those who want to give it a try – but do not believe that they can.

"You may look at movies and think, 'I can't do that it is typically a male-dominant area,'" Laurin said. "We want people to know that any female can come try out for the forces."

Even though the FORCE test is individual, those taking it are fully supported by their "military family," a phrase forces members use describe the bond they make and the support they receive on a daily basis.

"You are part of a family, and it makes you feel like you are part of something bigger," Laurin said.

The public is invited to take the test on March 8 at the Lieutenant-General EC Ashton Armoury.