Gender Parity In Indian Army: Women Officers Posted to Command Positions In Forward Areas

Ujjwal Shrotryia

Feb 22, 2023, 12:10 PM | Updated 12:12 PM IST

Women officers of the Indian Army. (Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images) (Representative Image).
Women officers of the Indian Army. (Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images) (Representative Image).

In a bid for gender parity in officer cadre, the Indian Army has assigned fifty women officers to command operational units in forward areas, reported Hindustan Times.

This development comes a month after 108 women officers of Lieutenant Colonel rank were promoted to Colonel rank and given a permanent commission.

Only the officers, who met the medical criteria were assigned command roles from the 108 promoted officers, the report said.

“Out of the 108 women empanelled for promotion to Colonel by the selection board, those officers, who have cleared the requisite medical criteria, have now been placed in similar command assignments as their male counterparts from 20 February,” the report quoted an official as saying.

These women officers were commissioned in the army between 1992 and 2006, the report further said.

These women officers come from various arms and services like The Engineers, Signals, Army Air Defence, Intelligence Corps, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, and Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (EME).

Until now, women officers from the Army Medical Corps used to command field Hospitals, military hospitals, and other medical establishments but they were not allowed to command positions in operational roles.

It was only after 2020 that the army opened doors for women officers to get a permanent commission, which allowed women officers to command army units.

In fact, in January Captain Shiva Chauhan became the first women officer to be operationally deployed to Siachen, the ‘world’s highest battlefield’.

The Army Chief General Manoj Pande in an interview also said that they are actively considering deploying women officers in artillery regiments, and a proposal has been sent to the government.

However, women officers are still not considered for command roles in infantry and armoured corps.

On the other hand, Army’s counterparts, the Navy, and the Air Force has allowed women to command frontline assets like fighter jets, and helicopters and even serve on board warships.

Overall the Indian military has come a long way from early 1990s, where the women officers were only inducted as Short Service Commission (SSC) officers, to now where women are inducted as Permanent Commission (PC) officers and command frontline assets of the country.

Staff Writer at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.

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