There is hardly any profession today that hasn’t been a prerogative of women folks. From riding space ships to being boxing champs women have been there and done that!
And talking about an area which has been predominantly male bound, induction of women officers is indeed a rare feat and privilege.
As the country’s security spans out under the aegis of India’s first full time Woman Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, we certainly look forward to some good news in the women’s cadre of security forces.
Women in the Indian army have already forayed into sections like medical, legal, educational, signals and engineering wings, but now they are being inducted for combat roles, a role considered more fierce and vulnerable for women.
Army Chief Bipin Rawat announced that the inclusion of women in combat roles, which has been opened in very few countries around the world, is a decision gradually accepted and initially women will be recruited for positions in military police.
According to Lieutenant General Ashwini Kumar, the induction of women in military police will help in investigating the gender specific crimes. The army has planned recruitment of approximately 800 women officers, with yearly intake of 52 personnel per year.
The plan is expected to move fast under the flagship of Nirmala Sitharaman, the newly appponted Defence Minister. At present the armed forces accounts for 3500 women officers, all of whom are in non-combat roles.
Lieutenant General Kumar reiterated that induction of women in corps of military police comes at the crucial moment when the country’s first women pilots are in the last leg of finishing their training to fly war planes. It is certainly going to be big leap for all those women who are eagerly waiting to break the glass ceiling.
The primary role involved in the CMP(Corps of Military Police) are-prevention of breach of rules, mobility of logistics and soldiers during conflicts, vigilance of cantonments and army cantonments, handling prisoners of war and extending aid to civil police when needed.
This major decision was declared at the Army Chief Conclave’s where the reigning army Chief Bipin Rawat laid out all the overall security challenges faced by the nation, especially on the borders with China and Pakistan.
Lieutenant General Ashwinin Kumar said, “present whenever we need to frisk women we take the help of local women police force. But now the task of frisking women would be carried out by the deployed women military force.”
This entire process of deployment will be conducted gradually, first women will be deployed at the peace stations and then once they get trained they’ll be sent to the conflict prone zones.
With the army’s decision to include women in combat roles coming into play, the Indian Navy is also chalking out a policy to induct women onboard warships.
The women who are enrolled in the combat roles need to manifest an iron grit and perseverance to carve a niche in this otherwise male dominated role.
India now joins a bandwagon of countries like-Germany, Australia, Canada, the US, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France , Norway, Sweden and Israel, which allow women in combat roles.