Arms and the Women

Source: The Hindu

Relevance: To understand women’s entry into the army

Synopsis: Gender parity in the army is happening at a slow pace and is mostly led by the courts.


Recently, PM announcement to allow girls for admission in Sainik School is a welcome move that will prepare girls for equal roles & life in the military

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Supreme Court (SC) judgements to bring women equal to men in the army

  1. In Feb 2020 judgement: The court asked the government to abide by its own policy and grant Permanent Commission to women in Short Service Commission (SSC). The court also directs the government to give women command postings in all services other than combat.
  2. In Secretary, Ministry of Defence vs Babita Puniya & Ors: the Court pointed out the “significant role” played by women since their induction in the army in 1992. So extending permanent positions to women SSC officers is a step forward in bringing equality of opportunity in the army.
  3. In the recent judgement, SC allowed women to sit for National Defence Academy (NDA) exam as the current policy is based on “gender discrimination”.

Why permit women?

There have been arguments about the violation of Articles 14, 15, 16, 19 of the Indian constitution, which upholds the values of equality & allows equal, non-discriminatory opportunities at work. These provisions have been violated by the denial of granting equal opportunity to eligible women.

Read more: Finally, gender parity in the Indian Army


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