20 September, 2020

Opinion | If Women Can't Match Physical Fitness Standards, They Have No Right To Seek Gender Parity In Armed Forces

On the issue of gender equality in the armed forces, we are decades behind other armies, writes Gul Panag, an actress and daughter of a Service officer

Photograph by PTI
Opinion | If Women Can't Match Physical Fitness Standards, They Have No Right To Seek Gender Parity In Armed Forces
outlookindia.com
2020-02-28T12:26:37+05:30

It was never about male or female officers—it was a fight for equal rights and the Supreme Court has upheld the right to gender equality in the armed forces as enshrined in Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution of India. In a benchmark judgment on February 17, the Supreme Court granted parity to women officers with male officers, with respect to consideration for permanent commission and opportunity for command of units based on the selection criteria. The parity granted is only partial, and was restricted to the plea of the litigants as related to terms and conditions of short service commission in the combat support arms, excluding artillery and combat support services. Women are still not at par with their male counterparts with respect to the following rights/opportunities:

  • Direct permanent commission into the armed forces through the National Defence Academy after 10+2 and respective service academies after graduation
  • Joining fighting arms—infantry/mechanised infantry and armoured corps—and one combat support arm...
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