Women Renaissance in Defence

India Sep 16, 2021

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Defence has been dominated by men for a long time. Women have not been able to get the same opportunities but maybe now is the time these issues are tackled. In today’s world, where women are walking equal to men , the Defence System of India seems to not be there yet.

Freshly, Supreme Court has legitimized women to appear for the NDA exams followed by the order last year allowing them to get Permanent Commissions (PC) in non-combat streams and also quoted, “Adjustments in Thoughts and Letters is what is needed to build a healthy society and Armed forces are nowhere apart!”

History depicts, in:

  • 1988: Women for the first time had a role in the Indian Army in British Raj.
  • 1992: Armed forces began to induct women as Short-Service Commission (SSC)
  • 2015: Air force opens doors for females in fighter stream (revolutionary step)
  • Early 2021: First women crew in India’s only aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya
  • Sept 5 2021: SC allowed women to appear for the NDA exam

The two major schools of thoughts which comes into picture are:

  • First one, those which are majorly led by the arguments based on the emotions namely - patriarchal society, trouble of accepting women in army by male counterparts
  • The other ones which had a liberative view where arguments are based on facts mainly led by the reformist ideology.

However, fragile and delicate what is considered synonymous to the women’s character, historical testimonies had shown us the courageous, powerful and valorous version of them.

Currently, 9,118-strong serving army of Women are inducted in prestigious Armed forces of India; also taking reference from 2019 figures, only 3.8% of the world’s second largest army, 6% of Navy and 13% of Air force are women, which has void to be filled with Article 14 and 15 of the Indian Constitution.

Their idea of accepting women in the combat forces is what lays the fundamental argument against the recent ruling of the Supreme court to promote gender balance. To tackle this dark ideology, in September this year, Banaras Hindu University in association with departments of philosophy and religion and many more, newly introduced postgraduate programme wherein tackling this ideology will be studied as a subject matter as reported by the officials of BHU.

The pivotal takeaway here is that the Defence should be in continuous synchronisation in the aspects of providing equal opportunities to men as well as women. Not just defence, but in all occupations the status quo needs to be upheld since maintaining equality is the way forward.

However the most relevant question still left unnoticed is that should defence change its norms with changes in time?

This article has been written by Shrawan Deogirkar for The Paradigm.

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