Monday, March 24, 2014

MILITARY GLASS CEILING - GENDER EQUALITY - WILL WOMEN OFFICERS IN INDIAN ARMED FORCES EVER BREAK THE MILITARY GLASS CEILING?

GENDER EQUALITY in DEFENCE SERVICES (ARMY NAVY AIR FORCE) in INDIA

WILL WOMEN OFFICERS IN INDIAN ARMED FORCES EVER BREAK THE MILITARY GLASS CEILING?
Ramblings of a Retired “Fauji Mind
By
VIKRAM KARVE

The US Military have many women as Admirals and Generals.

In fact, with the recent promotion of a Female Admiral to 4 Star Rank, all the three US military services, Army, Navy and Air Force have women in 4 star rank as full Admirals and Generals.

One wonders whether India will ever have a 4-Star Female Admiral, General or Air Marshal.

Will Indian Women Army, Navy and Air Force Officers ever break the “military glass ceiling”?

In India, women officers want to be on par with men as far as privileges are concerned, they want permanent commission, but are Indian Women Officers prepared to undergo the same tough service life as their male counterparts?

In the US Navy, in order to achieve 4 Star Admiral Rank, Admiral Michelle Howard has performed combat duties at sea and she has commanded ships, just like her male counterparts.

Is it possible in India? 

Are Indian Women Officers in the Armed Forces willing to perform the same duties and undergo same hardships as their male counterparts?

Are women officers in the Indian Navy prepared to go to sea?

Is inducting women into the Armed Forces merely an act of tokenism and political correctness?

Or are the defence services genuinely interested in integrating women into the mainstream fighting force?

In the US Navy (and US Army and US Air Force), women are inducted into the armed forces as cadets through the premier service training academies just like the male cadets – women undergo the same rigorous training as men.

In India, women officers must be inducted as cadets through the National Defence Academy (NDA) Indian Military Academy (IMA) and Indian Naval Academy (INA) after undergoing the same rigorous selection process and training as men.

Women Officer must be subjected to the same service conditions as their male counterparts.

“Mollycoddling” of women officers must be avoided and women officers must not expect concessions and special privileges because of their gender.

Gender Equality is the sine qua non of career equality.

Indian Women Officers must be willing to perform the same duties and undergo same risks and hardships as their male counterparts.

Navy women officers must serve at sea on combat ships.

Army women officers must serve in fighting arms like infantry in field areas and combat zone.

And women air force officers must fly fighter aircraft.

Only then will women military officers gain respect of their male counterparts and soldiers, sailors and airmen.

This will enable women officers to attain genuine credibility in the armed forces.

In India, especially in the Military, many women expect “Gender Privileges” and this is what holds them back.

Women Officers must strive to achieve gender equality if they want the same career prospects as their male counterparts.

Once there is true gender equality in the armed forces, in letter and in spirit, the day will not be far off when we see women break the military glass ceiling the India too, like they have done in so many military forces around the world.

VIKRAM KARVE
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