Integrating Women into the Indian Armed Forces

SUMMARY: According to recent figures released by the Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, 340 women officers have been granted permanent commission. This seems like a small number and it is, considering there are 60,000 officer’s out of a total 1.3 million people in the Indian Armed Forces (IAF), with female numbers being 1436 in the army, 413 in the navy and 1331 in the IAF. There is still great resistance to women in combat for “operational, practical and cultural” reasons, which means that this update on permanent commissions is a deserved victory for women in the military. The majority of women in the IAF are limited to short-service commissions, which are capped at a maximum time period of 14 – 15 years. There has been a tendency in the IAF command to link combat employability with permanent commission, which has obviously barred women from these secure positions. In order to retain and recruit more women in the IAF, serious “cultural and operational adjustments” need to be made.

SOURCE: Rajat Pandit, August 1 2015, ‘Big Leap: 340 women officer’s get permanent commission,’ Times of India, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Big-leap-340-women-officers-get-permanent-commission/articleshow/48302503.cms

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