Role of Women in the Armed Forces
In the modern world, there are no domains of work that women haven’t delved into. The Indian Armed Forces, which was considered a male-dominated workplace, now has bold and courageous women, molding into every role and setting examples for everyone.
There have been many warrior queens and women fighters over the world, none more famous than Ahilyabai Holkar- the Holkar Queen of the Maratha, Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi and Razia Sultana of the slave dynasty. India thus has a history and acceptance of women donning the uniform and taking to arms, shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts.
In the modern era, the women had not been allowed to serve in the armed forces, because of the many reasons including physical barriers, non-acceptance of women officers at the commanding position among troops, Poor hygiene in forwarding areas, family responsibility and motherhood, etc. But in recent years, armed forces have opened themselves for women to serve as the officer at every position. Recently we have witnessed the very pleasing spectacle of three smart young women becoming the first fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force. Also in a recent judgment, Supreme Court has rejected all these excuses and ruled that the women officers that are serving in Short Service Commission (SSC) are eligible for the Permanent Commission and command posts in the Army irrespective of their years of service thus making way for women empowerment in armed forces.
In modern warfare, it’s more about overcoming stress in war than physical combat. It is proven that women can handle stress equally as their male counterparts. They are equally rational, and they can offer an edge if used in tactical forces. Women have done exceptionally well in physical training as well. In the first few batches at the armed forces training academies, women displayed equal endurance, and some even could outrun their male counterparts.
The time has now come to prepare and plan precisely for the enlarged role of women officers in our gallant forces to achieve the genuine promotion of women’s rights and gender equality. It is essential to provide female officers with the option to serve in more challenging roles as their choice and the chance to receive equal opportunities as their male counterparts.
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