Women in combat roles: Touching the sky

By Dr Satywan Saurabh

Recently the Indian Navy announced the selection of two women officers Sub Lieutenant Kumudini Tyagi and Sub Lieutenant Riti Singh as helicopter observers, making them the first female airborne warship operators. In March this year, the Supreme Court held that a woman short service commission officer in the Navy is eligible for a permanent commission.
The Navy also inducted the first female pilot in December last year. These incidents have historically meant for women in the Navy, women were not previously allowed to have a permanent commission. Now a Supreme Court decision has allowed permanent commission for women.
Before 1992, women officers were included in the medical stream only from the Armed Forces Medical Services in the Navy. From July 1992, the Navy began to include women, initially through a Special Entry Scheme and later through the Short Service Commission, only in selected branches of the Navy.
One more thing to note is that currently women are included only as commissioned officers and not in other ranks which are in the category of junior commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers. In the early 2000s, female officers from the medical and logistic streams were deployed on naval vessels. While these deployments lasted for only four-five years, they were later discontinued for various reasons.
Last December, the Navy announced the induction of a female officer as the pilot of the Dornier aircraft, which are wing aircraft operated from wing installations. Now, the Navy has included two female officers as observers for the helicopter stream Announced to do so. Observers are aerial pilots who fly on Navy-operated helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft.
Until now, women had been included as observers for fixed-wing aircraft that take off and land ash. Entry into the helicopter stream means that female officers can now be deployed on frontline warships from where helicopters can operate.
Throughout the flight of women in this way, their critics are also concerned that too much media and public attention on these new entrants may put undue pressure on them. While women officers at a distance appreciate the support of many male military leaders in these processes.
According to Article 16, gender cannot serve only as a basis for unequal and unequal treatment in any area, including defense forces. Such a women’s right to enter this area is a constitutional right, also that the right to equality under Article 14 needs to be determined by the right to reasonableness which forbids any “prohibition” and “absolute” prohibition.
There are examples of female soldiers in combat roles in countries such as Israel, Germany, America, and Australia. This gender equality in us can be achieved by establishing professional standards and adhering to them without prejudice. The roadmap to include women should be included in a policy. For the concern of preserving the decency and dignity of women officers, there should be a detailed code of conduct for no adverse event.
Germany, Taiwan, and New Zealand are countries whose women run their governments. These are located on three different continents, with three countries managing the epidemic better than their neighbors. Along the same lines, a recent detailed study by researchers in the United States states that female governors have had fewer deaths related to COVID-19, perhaps partly because of female governors. First acted more decisively by issuing domestic orders of stay.
The authors of the study conclude that a female leader is more effective than their male counterparts in times of crisis. There will be many critics who question the reliability of the conclusion that deficiencies in the data are somewhat limited. Many would also indicate that it is dangerous to make broad generalizations based on one study. Of course, studies such as these do not establish the superiority of all female leaders over their male counterparts. But we can say that if women get a chance, they can prove their superiority well.
Recent experience and such studies need to get rid of important implicit biases and assumptions about female effectiveness in leadership roles. This appointment in India is another milestone for women in the Navy, in March this year, the Supreme Court held the Right to Serve Women Officers from the Short Service Commission in the Navy eligible to receive a Permanent Commission (PC). The tenure of the Short Service Commission in the Armed Forces is 10 years, which extends to four years, after which officers may be eligible for a permanent commission.
The battle for gender equality is about facing the battle of the minds. History is replete with examples where women are denied their just rights under the law and the right to fair and equal treatment in the workplace. Over the years, more women have earned worldwide names in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
However, as far as employment is concerned, the dropout rate among women is also high especially due to marriage maternity and maternity. There are options like working from home, yet today we need to do a lot more. Women from rural and urban areas have very different issues so there should be different policies for different areas.
If the participation of the women’s workforce in India realizes its full potential, then the day is not far when Indian women will be covered all over the world.
(The author is a Research Scholar in Pol Science, Delhi University)

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