Equal roles for men and women in the Indian army

The Supreme court of India on Monday has ruled that women in the Indian Army can now serve as army commanders, dismissing the government’s stance that male soldiers were not ready to accept orders from female officers as ‘disturbing’. The Government of India has argued that most of the male soldiers come from rural areas and are not trained for the school of thought so as to take orders from female officers. 

In a move towards gender parity in the Indian army, SC has ordered the government to extend permanent service to all women officers. With this women officer in the Indian army will get the same opportunities and benefits as their male counterparts including ranks, promotions, pensions, and lengths to serve longer tenures. 

The court has not given any ruling over deploying women in combat roles, saying a competent authority needed to decide on this matter. India has one of the largest armies in the world but has long resisted including women in combat roles citing women’s vulnerability if captured.

Women in the Indian army are commissioned via a short service commission which lets them serve for 14 years and only allowed permanent commission in the army’s legal and educational wings. Indian army began recruiting women in non-medical positions in the armed forces in only in 1992. 

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