WOMEN IN DEFENCE
Recently, one of its first case was witnessed where two women officers were selected to undergo the pilot (Helicopter) training in the Army Aviation Corps. The selected officers are prospected to join the front-line duties as flying heads as soon as they’ll complete their training sessions by July, 2022. The Army aviation corps have never had women assigned in any service except ground duties.
WHAT IS ARMY AVIATION CORPS
The traces of this formation hails back to, November 1986. From operating the Dhruv advanced light helicopter to handling Chetak, Cheetah and Cheetal helicopters the said formation plays a vitally significant role in responsibly deploying army to high altitude areas. Example: Siachen Glacier.
Before 1992, women were only allowed to join the military restrictively within the medical stream. It’s since the year 1992 that the defence authorities began placing recruitments for the women in short-service commission (SSC), which indicatively was a huge step engaging with the role of the women in military be diversified.
One of such on record turning points in regard with the expansion of role in defence for women was when in 2015 Indian Air Force (IAF) decided to induct them into the ‘fighter stream’.
Last year (In 2020), upon taking cognizance over the matter the Hon’ble Supreme Court (SC) conclusively ordered the central government to consider the grant of permanent commission (PC) to women officers on par with their male counterpart officers in the Army’s non-combat support units, whereas in the case SC had rejected the arguments of government that women officers are physically unfit and limited to have their roles diversified equally in comparison to male officers. To which Hon’ble Supreme court mentioned that such defences just prove the existing stereotypes and discrimination towards a gender specific that has not evolved by time even when women have successfully planted their instance, will and ability to fetch the status to establish equality and break the norms.
After the interference by the SC Women officers now have been granted with permanent commission in the Indian Army in all the ten branches where women are inducted for Short-service-commission.
“Women are now eligible to occupy all the command appointments, at par with male officers, which would open avenues for further promotions to higher ranks for them”.
Also last month, in May 2021, The first batch of women into the corps or military police was inducted by the army ,which is a non-officer cadre.
However, Women are still deprived of recruitment in frontline combat arms like Armored Corps and infantry. For which recognition is still pending and harshly no seeming possibility can be tracked down in the frequent upcoming years for the same.
Women in Indian defence, which is the second largest army in the world, in accordance with the figures only comprise of around 3.8% in totality, in navy approximately 6% while in air-force somewhere between 13-14%, which itself is an alarming issue in regards with recruitment equity and equal opportunities (Figures from 2019).
✓ Qualification Priorities– To be eligible for a post is foundationally based on the intellect that an individual holds to fetch the candidature rather than simple physiological strength. The priority on the battlefield have proven to attract the quick decision making expertise and technical skills.
✓ Evaluating selection: Removal of limitations will provide a mechanism for the senior evaluators to significantly shortlist the best candidates for tasks to be assigned and responsibilities to be imposed, as the step will eradicate the initial filter process which somewhere pulls the valuable talent from rising upto the deserving position.
Unaccepted but harsh reality is that women have always been kept away from superior positions in the society for the reason being the subordinates might not co-operate properly with a women as senior given the gender superiority that exists in the society.
To accept a women not only as commanding/superior officer but as a business head, Chief of any department has always been an issue which somewhere is hidden in the patriarchal norms everybody grew up around. Workplace inequality, unequal pay scale, distorted job opportunities, different pay for same job are some of the Concepts which are not new. Changes have to take place in the culture, norms, and values of not only the rank and file of the Army but also that of society at large of which responsibility lies on superior heads, depending upon political and Judicial interference.
The Constitution of India does not discriminates on the basis of gender considering each individual as equal to the other, and this is the duty of Central government, influencing authorities to safeguard and provide the due recognition to the deserving women ,which is a long due. The steps taken by the authorities recently spikes the hope of development and reform which can ,if not suddenly, but somewhere by taking one step at a time implement the equality of opportunities and due recognition to the individual intellect irrespective of gender or any other factor.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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