It seems that the Indian Army is all set to open combat positions for women. The Chief of Indian Army, General Bipin Rawat recently said that the procedure to allow women in Army combat roles is fast moving, and added that at the first stage, women will be recruited for different positions in the military police.
“I am looking at women coming as jawans. I am going to start it soon. Firstly, we will start with women as military police jawans,” he said, giving details of the initiative. Combat positions in the Indian Army has been an exclusive domain for men and the gender barrier is broken only by a very few nations across the globe.
Women are already allowed in some of the select areas like legal, medical, signals, educational, and engineering departments of the Indian Army, but they were not allowed in the various combat roles owing to logistical issues and operations concerns. General Rawat said that he is ready to recruit women as jawans in the Army and added that the matter is put forward to the government now. “We have already started the process,” Gen. Rawat said.
The Army General said that women would need to display strength and grit in taking challenges. Only a few countries like Australia, Germany, Canada, the United States, Denmark, Britain, Finland, France, Sweden, Norway, and Israel allow women in combat roles their Army.
The different roles of the medical police include policing the Army establishments and cantonments, prevent breach of rules by Army men, maintaining movement and logistics at times of peace and war, handling war prisoners, and offering help to the civil police whenever necessary.
The Indian Air Force made history recently by inducting three women as fighter pilots. This inclusion was made less than a year after the decision of the government to allow women in the Indian Armed Forces. However, the decision to have women fighter pilots will be confirmed after evaluating the performance of the selected women, Bhawana Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi, and Mohana Singh. They are now part of the fighter squadron of the Indian Air Force.
The Indian Navy is also planning to have women onboard. Currently the Indian Navy allows women in segments like legal, naval architecture, logistics, and engineering departments, and they are looking forward to include more women to their force.