India has made a significant progress in ensuring better representation of women in Indian armed forces. However, much more still needs to be done. Discuss.

The constitution envisages equal rights and opportunities for women in all spheres of life. However, the representation of women in armed forces does not match with the aspirations.

  • Resistance by armed forces against permanent commission for women. One of the court orders stated lack of order taking by male superiors as a barrier.
  • Manifest patriarchy in society especially north-west, which contributes maximum personnel to armed forces.
  • Lack of appeal of armed forces among women due to indoctrination from birth that army is not for women.
  • Only recently, permanent commission was opened for women. In its absence, there was structural discrimination in women’s participation.
  • Lack of accompanying infrastructure in defence services for women.
  • Lack of role models.
  • Resistance to give combat roles to women. Higher representation in engineering and medical posts.

India should take a lesson from Israel in this regard and much needs to be done to boost participation of women in army.

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