Gender Parity : Women in Military Police

Complete Package for Civil Service Preparation by self study :

* IAS4Sure Notes
* The MCQ Factory (TMF)
* Prelims Guidance Program 2021
* Prelims Test Series 2021

Women in Military Police:

  • The Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the decision to induct women in Personnel Below Officer Rank, PBOR, role in Corps of Military Police.
  • The women will be inducted in a graded manner to eventually comprise 20% of total Corps of Military Police.
  • Accordingly, the Army chalked out induction of approximately 800 women in military police with a yearly intake of 52 personnel per year.

Military Police:

  • Military Police are the corps responsible for the enforcing discipline and the maintenance of law and order in the military environment and for military purposes.
  • The functions of the Military Police includes policing cantonments and Army establishments, preventing a breach of rules and regulations by soldiers, maintaining movement of soldiers as well as logistics during peace and war, handling prisoners of war and extending aid to civil police whenever required.

Role of Women in Military Police:

  • Investigation of offences such as rape, molestation, thefts etc.
  • Military operations of nature where Army needs assistance from police organisations
  • Assisting civil police/ administration for evacuation in forward villages during hostilities.
  • Crowd control of refugees comprising women and children.
  • Searching/ Frisking of women during cordon & search operations/ check posts.
  • Ceremonial and Policing Duties
  • Maintaining military discipline.
  • Manning the Prisoner of War Camps.

The announcement is seen as a precursor for allowing the women in combat roles. Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat had earlier said that the process to allow women in a combat role, currently, an exclusive domain of men was moving fast and initially, women will be recruited for positions in the military police.

Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act (Triple Talaq)

Complete Package for Civil Service Preparation by self study :

* IAS4Sure Notes
* The MCQ Factory (TMF)
* Prelims Guidance Program 2021
* Prelims Test Series 2021


  • Bill has been passed by Lok Sabha.
  • The bill would replace the ordinance passed in the month of September.
  • The Bill makes all declaration of talaq, including in written or electronic form (text message, email etc) to be void and illegal i.e. not enforceable in law.
  • It defines talaq as talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq pronounced by Muslim husband resulting in instant and irrevocable divorce to his wife.
  • It refers Talaq-e-biddat to practice under Muslim personal laws where pronouncement of word ‘talaq’ thrice in one sitting by Muslim husband to his wife results in instant and irrevocable divorce.
  • Offence and penalty: It makes declaration of talaq a cognizable and non-bailable offence i.e. offence for which police officer may arrest an accused person without warrant. Moreover, a Muslim husband declaring triple talaq can be imprisoned for up to 3 years along with a fine.
  • Declaration of Triple Talaq would be a cognizable offence, attracting up to three years’ imprisonment with a fine. The bill states that the offence will be cognizable only if information relating to the offence is given by the married woman (against whom talaq has been declared), or any person related to her by blood or marriage.
  • Under the provisions of the bill, the Magistrate may grant bail to the accused only after hearing the woman (against whom talaq has been pronounced), and if the Magistrate is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for granting bail.
  • The bill also states that the offence may be compounded by the Magistrate upon the request of the woman (against whom talaq has been declared). The bill empowers the Magistrate to determine terms and conditions of the compounding.
  • Allowance: It entitles Muslim woman against whom triple talaq has been declared to seek subsistence allowance from her husband for herself and for her dependent children. First Class Magistrate will decide this allowance amount.
  • Custody of minor children: Muslim woman against whom triple talaq has been declared, is entitled to seek custody of her minor children. First Class Magistrate will make determination of custody of her minor children.

Why it was done?

  • In August 2017 landmark verdict, Supreme Court had banned practice of “triple talaq” in which Muslim men unilaterally divorce their wives by uttering talaq three times in quick succession, calling it “unconstitutional”.
  • As per Supreme Court pronouncement, the practice of “triple talaq” is un-Islamic and “arbitrary” and was not integral part of religious practice.
  • It also violated Article 14 (Equality before law) and Article 21 of Indian Constitution.
  • It was alleged that practise of triple talaq adversely impact rights of women to a life of dignity and is against constitutional principles such as gender equality, secularism, international laws etc.
  • It also undermines gender equality which is a sacred principle of our constitution and modern society.
  • Even 21 Islamic theocratic countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan have abolished it.

Concerns Raised:

  • Punish the husband only if the woman files a complaint.
  • Instant talaq should be an offence but not a cognisable one.
  • They fear that the provisions have the potential to adversely impact Muslim women who are victims of instant talaq and result in greater harassment.
  • The purpose of this bill is gender justice, and criminalisation in itself cannot serve this objective. Marriage is a civil matter.
  • As per 494 of the Indian Penal Code bigamy is non-cognisable and bailable offence. Violation of law through triple talaq should invite penalty and punishment accordingly and proportionately.

Cognizable offence

A cognizable offence is one for which a police officer may arrest an accused person without a warrant.

Compounding of offence

Compounding of offence refers to a procedure where the two sides agree to stop legal proceedings, and settle the dispute.

Sexual Harassment : Changes to Sexual Harassment Law

Complete Package for Civil Service Preparation by self study :

* IAS4Sure Notes
* The MCQ Factory (TMF)
* Prelims Guidance Program 2021
* Prelims Test Series 2021


  • The Centre recently announced its plan to set up a panel of judges to look into the legal and institutional framework to curb sexual harassment at workplaces following the #MeToo campaign on social media.

Changes suggested by Justice Verma Panel:

  • As early as 2013, the Justice J.S. Verma Committee, in its landmark report on gender laws, had recommended setting up of an employment tribunal instead of an internal complaints committee (ICC) in sweeping changes to the Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Bill.
  • The panel was formed in the aftermath of the December 16 Nirbhaya gangrape in 2012 and the ensuing nationwide protests, and submitted its report on January 23, 2013.
  • At that time of the submission of the report, the Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill had already been passed by the Lok Sabha and was awaiting the Rajya Sabha’s nod. The Bill was passed unchanged by the Upper House a month later.
  • The Committee, chaired by Justice Verma and including Justice Leila Seth and senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium, termed the Sexual Harassment Bill unsatisfactory and said it did not reflect the spirit of the Vishakha guidelines — framed by the Supreme Court in 1997 to curb sexual harassment at the workplace.
  • The report noted that an internal complaints committee as laid down under the then proposed law would be counter-productive as dealing with such complaints in-house could discourage women from filing complaints. Instead, the committee proposed forming an employment tribunal to receive and adjudicate all complaints.
  • To ensure speedy disposal of complaints, the Justice Verma Commitee proposed that the tribunal should not function as a civil court but may choose its own procedure to deal with each complaint.
  • The Committee said any unwelcome behaviour should be seen from the subjective perception of the complainant, thus broadening the scope of the definition of sexual harassment.
  • The Verma panel said an employer could be held liable if he or she facilitated sexual harassment, permitted an environment where sexual misconduct becomes widespread and systemic, where the employer fails to disclose the company’s policy on sexual harassment and ways in which workers can file a complaint as well as fails to forward a complaint to the tribunal. The company would also be liable to pay compensation to the complainant
  • The panel also made several suggestions to encourage women to come forward and file complaints. For instance, it opposed penalising women for false complaints and called it an abusive provision intended to nullify the objective of the law.
  • The Verma panel also said that the time-limit of three months to file a complaint should be done away with and a complainant should not be transferred without her consent.

Sexual Harassment : #MeToo Movement

Complete Package for Civil Service Preparation by self study :

* IAS4Sure Notes
* The MCQ Factory (TMF)
* Prelims Guidance Program 2021
* Prelims Test Series 2021

What is Sexual Harassment?

The Sexual Harassment of Women (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 defines sexual harassment to include any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behaviour (whether directly or by implication) namely:

  1.  Physical contact and advances
  2. A demand or request for sexual favours
  3. Making sexually coloured remarks
  4.  Showing pornography
  5. Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.

What is sexual harassment at workplace?

Sexual harassment at the workplace is any unwelcome sexually defined behaviour which has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, abusive or offensive working environment.

An Indian Context:

  • India has signed and ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
  • In 1997 as part of the Vishaka judgment, the Supreme Court drew upon the CEDAW and laid down specific guidelines on the prevention of sexual harassment of women at the workplace.
  • The Vishaka guidelines defined sexual harassment and codified preventive measures and redressal mechanisms to be undertaken by employers.

MeToo Movement:

  • Actor Tanushree Dutta’s had made allegations of harassment at the hands of actor Nana Patekar on a film set a decade ago.
  • Minister of State for External Affairs has been accused of sexual harassment by at least 10 women journalists.
  • In the immediate aftermath of this development, women have been speaking of their experiences and the trauma, mostly on Twitter and Facebook.
  • The testimonies that have so far been expressed have mostly concerned the film world and the mainstream media, and cover both the workplace and private spaces.
  • These testimonies range from stories of assault to propositioning, suggestiveness to stalking.

Origins of the MeToo Movement:

  • The MeToo hashtag gained currency a year ago in the U.S.
  • In the U.S., women came out one after another to first corroborate allegations of sexual assault against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
  • There were many allegations levelled and each further account made it clear that there was a systemic pattern of abuse and silence.

Why this movement and why now?

  • Experts believe that there has been an utter failure of due process.
  • Unfortunately, victims have written formal complaints and have also tried to get their organisations to act, but they have mostly found themselves facing a system that prefers to be complicit with the perpetrators.
  • A couple of cases further illustrate this:
    1. In the case of the former TERI chairman, R.K. Pachauri, for instance, despite the victim filing a police complaint and compelling the organisation to initiate an inquiry, he not only continued in TERI for another year but was publicly supported by the board members.
    2. There is another case of rape that one can sight against the former Editor of Tehelka, Tarun Tejpal. In spite of being a “fast track” case, five years on, it has only seen a series of adjournments, with no sign of justice on the horizon.

Experts believe that the failure of due process is the success of #MeToo. After decades of witnessing the impunity of the perpetrators, #MeToo is fuelled by an impunity of sorts of the ‘victims’.

Concluding Remarks:

  • It is important to identify the exact transgression in the various cases that are being expressed, and to ensure that action is taken with due process.
  • Further, it is important to note that no one can be deemed guilty only because he had been named and any punishment must be proportionate to the misdemeanour.
  • It is also important to consider that many people, especially men, have raised concerns regarding false accusations. This remains valid.
  • In conclusion, we should note that there has been a systemic disregard for making workplaces and common spaces free of harassment.
  • All of society needs to internalise a new normal that protects a woman’s autonomy and her freedom from discrimination at the workplace.

Group of Ministers on MeToo:

  • The Centre established a Group of Ministers to recommend measures to effectively implement the law against sexual harassment at the workplace and to strengthen the legal and institutional framework in response to the #MeToo campaign.


Recent Court Judgement for Women

Complete Package for Civil Service Preparation by self study :

* IAS4Sure Notes
* The MCQ Factory (TMF)
* Prelims Guidance Program 2021
* Prelims Test Series 2021


  • Sabrimala Temple Entry Case : SC declares restriction on women in Sabrimala temple unconstitutional.
  • Haji Ali Dargah Case : Women were not allowed inside Dargah. SC observed that ‘exclusion’ is practised by both Hindus and Muslims and the problem needs to be addressed. Dargah Trust conceded before the court that it had resolved to allow women to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the dargah at par with men.
  • Triple Talaq Case : SC declared triple talaq unconstitutional and anti-Quran. Constitution Bench held that Islam cannot be anti-Quran and Triple talaq is against the basic tenets of the Holy Quran, and consequently, it violates Shariat.
  • Goolrokh Gupta Case : SC has intervened with the Parsi elders to allow Goolrokh Gupta, a Parsi woman, who married outside her faith, to pray at the Tower of Silence for her departed father.
  • Female Genital Mutilation Case : SC has also referred to a Constitution Bench the question whether the practice of female circumcision or khafz, prevalent in the Dawoodi Bohra sect, amounts to female genital mutilation and is a violation of women’s right to life and dignit

National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO)

Complete Package for Civil Service Preparation by self study :

* IAS4Sure Notes
* The MCQ Factory (TMF)
* Prelims Guidance Program 2021
* Prelims Test Series 2021

  • NDSO is an initiative under National Mission for Safety of Women aimed at curbing crimes against women and children.
  • It will mainly include data of sexual offenders in the country convicted under charges of rape, gang rape, POCSO and eve teasing 2005 onwards.
  • It will contain  key details of convicted sexual offenders such as their names, residential address, photographs, fingerprints, DNA samples, Aadhaar numbers and Personal Account Numbers (PANs).
  • It will be maintained by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for regular monitoring and tracking by State Police.
  • The database will not compromise any individual’s privacy.
  • At present database contains 4.4 lakh entries.
  • State Police will regularly update the database from 2005 onwards.
  • As of now, it does not have records of juvenile offenders, but they are likely to be included in at later stage.
  • NDSO will maintain database of cases classified as posing low danger for a period of 15 years.
  • The database of cases, which are classified as moderate danger, will be stored for 25 years.
  • The data for cases involving repeat and habitual offenders, criminals, convicted gang rapists and custodial rapes will be stored permanently. - National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO)

Triple Talaq Ordinance

Complete Package for Civil Service Preparation by self study :

* IAS4Sure Notes
* The MCQ Factory (TMF)
* Prelims Guidance Program 2021
* Prelims Test Series 2021


  • The Union Cabinet has cleared ordinance to make practice of instant triple talaq penal offence.
  • Compelling reason cited by Government for promulgation of this ordinance was that practice of triple talaq continues unabated even after annulled by Supreme Court due to absence of legal framework.



  • The ordinance makes instant triple talaq illegal and void.
  • It prescribes punishment with jail term for three years to husbands practicing triple talaq.
  • It also includes certain safeguards such as the addition of a provision of bail for the accused before trial, to do away with fears of misuse of the law.
  • The offence of triple talaq will only be cognizable when victim wife or her relatives by blood or marriage file FIR.
  • It is compoundable offence, meaning that there can be compromise but only on insistence of wife and magistrate will have to determine terms and conditions.
  • The offender can be granted bail by magistrate but only after hearing victim wife as it is private dispute between husband and wife and wife must be heard when bail is granted. 
  • Additionally, victim wife will get custody of minor children.
  • They will be entitled to receive maintenance from husband for herself and children, as decided by magistrate.



  • This decision has come under a lot of criticism as being a sign of undue impatience.
  • Several sections believe that this is a matter that required deliberation, especially after keeping in mind that serious objections were raised to some of the provisions of the Bill passed by the Lok Sabha.  
  • Currently, it is not clear as to what may have prompted the government to take recourse to the extraordinary power of promulgating an ordinance.
  • There is no documentary evidence to show that the incidence of instant triple talaq had reached alarming levels.
  • Thus the hasty nature in which a presidential ordinance was promulgated needs to be examined.
  • Further, as per Article 123 of the Indian Constitution, the President of India is required to ensure the existence of circumstances “which render it necessary for him to take immediate action”.
  • Thus, it is believed that the Centre, must make public the evidence presented to the President. This can be done so in the interest of a fair debate.
  • Article 123 empowers the President to promulgate an ordinance only when urgent situations arise during the recess of Parliament. However, in the case of triple talaq, no such emergency came to light.

Abortions : Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act

Complete Package for Civil Service Preparation by self study :

* IAS4Sure Notes
* The MCQ Factory (TMF)
* Prelims Guidance Program 2021
* Prelims Test Series 2021


  • Abortion has been legalised in India under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act since 1971.
  • According to the Act, abortion can be provided at the discretion of a medical provider under certain conditions.
  • Act had two goals — to control the population resulting from unintended pregnancies and to reduce the increasing maternal mortality and morbidity due to illegal, unsafe abortions.


Need of amendments now:

  • It was just a year ago when a 10-year-old girl got pregnant after being raped by her uncles.
  • Both the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Supreme Court, advised by a doctors’ panel, refusing her permission to terminate it.
  • Hence timely justice to our women and young girl was denied.


Current scenario

  • Act has limitations that pose barriers to women and girls seeking legal abortions.
  • Though abortion was legalised almost 50 years ago, a woman’s right to decide for herself, did not and still does not fall within the intent or ambit of the MTP Act.
  • Currently, the Act allows abortion up to 20 weeks.
  • However, when it comes to foetal abnormalities and pregnancies resulting from rape, this limit is proving to be a hurdle for both the woman and the provider.
  • Women seeking an abortion after the legal gestation limit ,often have no option but to appeal to the courts and run from pillar to post for permission to terminate the pregnancy.


Amendments suggested by Ministry:

  • In 2014, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recognised these barriers and proposed certain amendments to the Act.
  • Thus an increasing in the gestation limit from 20 to 24 weeks for rape survivors and other vulnerable women and removing the gestation limit in case of foetal abnormalities was brought in.
  • In 2017, these amendments were returned to the ministry with the mandate to strengthen the implementation of the MTP Act as it stands.


Result of denial of abortions:

  • Many women, when denied legal abortions, turn to unqualified providers or adopt unsafe methods of termination.
  • Estimates based on the Sample Registration System (SRS) 2001-03, indicate that unsafe abortions account for 8 percent of maternal deaths in India.
  • Adopting and implementing the amendments will take us a few steps closer towards ensuring that all girls and women have access to safe abortion services.
  • According to a study published in The Lancet recently, 15.6 million abortions took place in India in 2015 out of which about 11.5 million took place outside health facilities.



  • Abortion is at the centre of global conversations on reproductive health and rights.
  • India had once led this in the forefront by legalising abortions.
  • Hence its the time to regain the position and make it personalised according to the needs of the hour. - Abortions Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act


Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) an offence : SC

Complete Package for Civil Service Preparation by self study :

* IAS4Sure Notes
* The MCQ Factory (TMF)
* Prelims Guidance Program 2021
* Prelims Test Series 2021


The Supreme Court has said no one can violate the integrity and the bodily privacy of a woman in the name of religion after the Centre condemned the practice of female genital mutilation performed by some communities on children as a religious practice.



  • It is a ritual performed on every girl child within the Dawoodi Bohra religious community.
  • The FGM is performed “illegally upon girls (between five years and before she attains puberty)” and
  • The practice of ‘khatna’ or ‘FGM’ or ‘Khafd’ also amounts to causing inequality between the sexes and constitutes discrimination against women.
  • Since it is carried out on minors, it amounts to serious violation of the rights of children as even minors have a right of security of person, right to privacy, bodily integrity and the freedom from cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment.
  • This is happening without any medical reason and does not have any reference in the Quran.
  • It violates the rights of the child and human rights.


SC view

  • Such practices on children would be an offence under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
  • Just because something is “essential”, does not mean it is above constitutional morality.
  • If we do not go by the Constitution, then morality is left to the mob. The people on the streets will say what is moral and what is immoral.


Govt View

  • The practice violated various fundamental rights of the girl child and moreover, such kind of genital mutilation has serious repercussions on their health.


Current Status in India

  • There is no law in India banning FGM or Khatna.


International Practice

  • Countries like the United Kingdom, Australia and around 27 African countries have banned this practice.
  • It violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • It is a crime in the United States of America under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. - Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) an offence SC

Gender Parity in Armed Forces

Complete Package for Civil Service Preparation by self study :

* IAS4Sure Notes
* The MCQ Factory (TMF)
* Prelims Guidance Program 2021
* Prelims Test Series 2021


  • Countries that allow women in Close combat: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, North Korea etc.
  • Countries in which women allowed in combat, not necessarily close combat: USA, UK, Pakistan, South Korea etc. - Gender Parity in Armed Forces



  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his addresses to the nation on occasion of 72nd Independence Day from Red Fort announced that permanent commission will be granted to serving women officers of armed forces.
  • Until now, women could qualify only for short service commission with a tenure of 14 years; this made them ineligible for pension and often unable to find other work virtually midway through their working lives.
  • Indian Navy & Airforce had already granted permanent commission to women following a Delhi high court order of 2010

Significance of PM announcement:

  • The announcement comes after Government had told Supreme Court (in May 2018) that it was considering granting PC to SSC women Army officers.
  • Granting PC to women officers will change their career paths, besides provide full-length career opportunity for women aspirants in the future.
  • PC to women officers will also give them same option as male officers and they can theoretically achieve higher ranks like Colonels, Brigadiers, Major Generals and Lieutenant Generals in Indian Army.
  • Note: Granting PC to women officers will not change the status quo in their induction in combat branches of Indian Army like Infantry, Armoured Corps, Mechanised Infantry, Army Aviation Corps and Artillery b as women are so far not inducted in direct combat roles. Most of senior operational commanders in Army are from these combat arms branches, so women officers are less likely to get higher seniority posts.

Current status in Navy and Air Force:

  • Unlike Indian Army, IAF and Indian Navy have opened up select combat roles for women.
  • IAF has allowed entry of women as officers in both flying and ground duties. In IAF, women SSC officers are now commissioned even as fighter pilots, as helicopter and transport pilots.
  • They are also commissioned by IAF in legal, education and intelligence branches. In Navy, women officers are inducted through SSC in Logistics, Law, Air Traffic Control (ATC), Observers, Pilots (Maritime Reconnaissance Stream), Naval Armament Inspectorate Cadre (NAIC), Naval Architecture and Education Branch.

 Key arguments for not inducting women in front line were:

  • Fear of women being taken PoW
  • Physically demanding nature of these jobs
  • Lower muscle mass, relatively less strength
  • Concerns like maternity, ability to withstand G-force, fear of molestation esp PoW.

Women Army officers are still denied permanent commission at par with men. Analyse the reasons behind it. How far patriarchal and macho mindset is responsible for such discrimination? (200 Words)

The recent affidavit filed by the Indian Army in the Supreme court expresses discouragement to appointing women officers in permanent commission. This is a retrogressive move and reiterates the patriarchal mindset in the Indian society.

‘War has no runners-up, hence the need for an efficient war machine that will ensure victory,’ it said. This move not only denies equality to women but also makes them ―lesser citizens of India as they are not being a the same rights as men. The reasons cited by the Indian Army include:

  1. The bulk of the army’s junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and other ranks, who hail from rural India, are not yet ready to accept a woman as their leader in combat situations.
  2. Beyond the SSC, in permanent commission tenure women could be exposed to hostile environments, also the unique nature of responsibility and organisational requirement.
  3. The attendant hazard and trauma, possibility of being made a prisoner of war

These reasons appear farce and reflect a patriarchal mindset because :

  1. Rank v/s gender: commands are attached to the ―rank or position of a system, may it be judiciary, administration, legislature or military. And not to the gender of the individual. If this would have been so, India would never have had a successful women prime minister or president.
  2. Ability v/s gender : As long as an individual is qualified for a position, the gender is arbitrary.
  3. Unique requirements: During the 14-year short service commission tenure they now enjoy, women officers in various corps are assigned duties similar to those of men officers without distinction, to all possible field units with men officers. So the unique requirements in permanent commission smacks of gender discrimination.
  4. Technology and gender: In modern high technology battlefield, technical expertise and decision making skills are increasingly more valuable than simple brute strength.
  5. Other countries like Canada, Israel, New Zealand etc. have placed women on par with men in the military
  6. The ruling of the Delhi high court 2010, in favour of appointing women.

In the light of the fact that the Indian army is facing an acute shortage of officers, do you think more women should be recruited to the forces? Examine the challenges and prospects of such a move. (200 Words)

The Indian armed forces have been facing an acute shortage of officers. Due to attractive jobs with better salaries in private sector young and mid-level career officers are moving to private sector, and the situation has worsened since 1990s. Economic reforms have widened the pay, lifestyle and social prestige gap between the armed forces and the private sector. Lack of officers mean that existing officers are overburdened. This has huge strategic implications when the army is involved in fighting insurgency in large parts of the country as well as training for its primary mission of defending the country from external forces. While women were allowed to join the armed forces in 1992, they could only join as Short Service Commission (SSC) officers able to serve for a maximum of 14 years and that too only in non-combat arms like Army education corps, Engineers, Signals etc. While recently women have been granted permanent commissions, the ban on service in combat units continues.


  1. The women already serving non-combat position were found to be serving their duty with integrity as compared to men.
  2. Women In India reflected the struggling ethos and has been part of Indian freedom struggle in form of Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi ,Rani Gadinlieu of Assam. So they hold prospects in future as well.
  3. Further It would be significant boost to women empowerment and has spillover effect to general level of literacy, Health ,Employment of women in defence sector as well as other sector.
  4. Increased number of women in the armed forces will reduce the incidents of sexual abuses and human right violation at the hands of army men while maintaining national security. More women in army will help in bringing more gender sensitivity among the armed forces


  1. India is largely a patriarchal society with a traditional mindset. Thus, the men might not be very comfortable being commanded by women in the field.
  2. It is a biological fact that on average women are weaker than men. In combat units, which are necessarily intensely physical, any perceived weakness would lead to loss of respect of the subordinates. Which would make the task of women officers that much harder.
  3. The risk of getting captured as Prisoners of War (PoW’s) is highest for combat units. A women PoW could be a psychological blow.
  4. Due to biological differences, women need long mid-career breaks as maternity leave. Not only does this disrupt training, but also puts restrictions on the type of physical work that they can do before and after the leave. This would be a major challenge for combat roles.

The task before defence establishment is huge and is critical. Women regiments can be started on pilot basis and the results can be used to address the issues leading to regular induction of women in army, navy as well as air force. Like in other spheres, here also the bias against will disappear, sooner or later.

APPLICATION: Women essay, women empowerment, Role of judiciary in ensuring social justice.