Can a Girl join Special Forces in India? Read all about Women in Special Forces Here!

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 11th, 2023

Can a Girl join Special Forces in India? Women in special operations are not a new phenomenon. If a woman is capable of being deployed to war to serve on the frontlines alongside special operators, she deserves a chance at gaining a permanent seat on the squad. No standard should be altered to accommodate women or any candidate, as a consequence everyone should be given an equal opportunity. Special Forces should promote equality of opportunity rather than equality of result. If that means just one woman graduates every three to four years, then so be it.

Read here the latest edition of women allowed to enrol for NDA exams as equality since they have been performing well in several other Indian Armed Forces.

Seema Rao- India’s Only Lady Commando Trainer

  • Seema Rao is the country’s first-ever female commando trainer. She has been training Indian Special Forces for the period of 18 years without pay. She is a pioneer in close-quarter engagements, earning her the moniker Wonder Woman of India.


Image Source: CNBC TV18

  • She is the daughter of an Indian freedom warrior, has studied medicine, and is recognized as a doctor in conventional medicine, and she also has an MBA in crisis management.
  • She teaches combat shooting, has an HMI medal, and is a 7th degree Blackbelt in military martial arts.
  • She is one of just a few instructors in the world who is authorized to teach Jeet Kune Do. If you believe she’s man-material, think again because she’s also a Mrs India World beauty pageant finalist.
  • She collaborated with her husband, Major Deepak Rao, to train 15,000 soldiers in modern close-quarter fighting. She obtained her Para Wings while skydiving at PTS Agra.

Women in the Indian Armed Forces

  • The Indian Army began inducting women officers in non-medical specialities in 1992.
  • In 2007, the United Nations deployed its first all-female peacekeeping team to Liberia, consisting of 105 Indian policewomen.
  • Except for the Indian Army (inducted for support duties only) and the Special Forces of India, all wings of the Indian Armed Forces allow women in combat roles (junior ranks) and combat supervisory positions (officers) (trainer role only).
  • Females are not permitted to serve in combat units such as the infantry, armoured corps, or mechanized infantry.
  • Women are permitted to join the Army Service Corps, Ordnance, Education Corps, Judge Advocate General (JAG), Engineers, Signals, Intelligence, and Electronics & Mechanical Engineering sections under the Short Service Commission (SSC) scheme.
  • Women are only given permanent commissions on par with male officers in specific branches, such as the Judge Advocate General, Army Education Corps (AEC), and Military Police.

Issues with Women in Combat Role

Physical issues

  • Women are more vulnerable to some sorts of injuries and medical problems due to natural physical disparities in size, strength, and body composition between the sexes. This is especially true during strenuous and intense training.
  • Pre-entry physical fitness levels are lower in most female recruits than in male recruits, and as a result, while training standards are the same for both genders, women are more likely to be injured.

Physiological issues

  • Menstruation and pregnancy are normal events that make women particularly vulnerable in combat settings. Inadequate privacy and cleanliness can lead to an increase in genitourinary infections.
  • The impact of lengthy deployment in tough terrains and strenuous physical activity on women’s reproductive health is unknown.

Social and psychological issues

  • Women are more attached to their families, especially their children. This results in increased mental stress and a larger need for social assistance to sustain themselves throughout extended separations from family.
  • Isolation is another social factor that contributes to mental stress in female military personnel. This is due to the fact that men outnumber women in the military, especially in conflict zones.
  • Military sexual trauma (MST) and its impact on the physical and mental well-being of female warriors is a serious issue.
  • MST can cause serious, long-term psychological issues such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and substance dependence.

Conventional Barriers

  • Cultural obstacles in society may be the most significant impediment to women’s military service.
  • The repercussions of putting a few women in an almost completely male preserve, in tight accommodations, in harsh terrain, and secluded from civilization, may raise traditional society’s eyebrows.
  • Another big issue that has to be investigated is the jawans’ acceptance of instructions from female officers.

Way Forward to IAF

  • The Indian Air Force made history by inducting three women as fighter pilots.
  • After reviewing the performance of the three women — Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth, and Mohana Singh — who are now members of the IAF’s fighter unit, a decision on having women as fighter pilots will be made. Similarly, a women’s combat squadron can be designed and thoroughly researched before any further development.

Can a Girl join Special Forces in India? Read all about Women in Special Forces Here!

Image Source: DNA India

  • Before inducting women into combat positions, they can first be trained as military police jawans, and then progressively transition into combat roles.
  • Concerning the preservation of female jawans’ modesty and dignity, rigorous norms of behaviour should be in place to ensure that no adverse occurrence occurs.
  • Administrative issues should not be used as a barrier to access for women. It is the government’s role to build both administrative and social infrastructure to facilitate women’s recruitment.
  • Most essential, a policy should be developed that lays the groundwork for women’s inclusion in combat roles. The absence of a clear structure has slowed the decision-making process.
  • Society must be willing to realize that women, too, may play critical roles in combating enemies. Arguments such as Indian society is not ready to witness women in body bags are deceptive and should not be used to prevent women from entering combat jobs.

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