The Bold Voice of J&K

Women in combat

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With the Army planning to induct women in combat roles, the move has drawn support from several quarters and most of them have opined that the process has to be “gradual”. In modern army, strength is not the only factor that counts. The army has changed over the last 70 years and womenfolk are also not the same now. They could be physiologically different from their male counterparts, but that is a non-issue which can be taken care of with training. There is no reason why the women cannot be recruited as jawans, when they have proved their mettle in other domains. Army will require a “change of psyche” before the step is taken, as it is not used to seeing women as jawans. Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat had recently said that the army is considering inducting women as jawans and initially they will be recruited for positions in military police. Currently women are allowed in select areas including in medical, legal, educational, ordnance signals and engineering wings of the army but combat roles are kept off limit for them due to operational concerns and logistic issues. The army is also planning to recruit women jawans for a range of activities like computer operators and as clerical staff. Women have already done well in various other fields of military like engineering, logistics and ordnance, and would be great occasion when they march shoulder-to-shoulder with men in bigger roles too. But, the process must be gradual because of some constrains in procedures. Women rights activist have also praised the move but some have asserted that this consideration should not come as a “charity”. It is going to be difficult initially, and the process of induction has to be very gradual to ensure there is no turbulence in the ranks. The role of army has grown bigger in ensuring peace in any country. Having woman as jawans is obviously a welcome step towards equating their role with men but the purpose won’t be served if they don’t get equal positions as men in the Army.

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