Recent Supreme Court Judgements allowing women to appear for National Defence Academy, granting permanent commission to women serving in Short Service Commission and allowing them to command posts seen as a landmark step towards women empowerment.
The Ministry of Defence has taken steps to ensure implementation of granting permanent commission to women in all three forces, and also made them eligible to occupy all the command appointments at par with male officers.
However, women face some challenges in this transition like societal issues, where Indian forces have maximum compositions drawn from a rural background, where troops are not yet mentally schooled to accept women officers in command of units. Also, society has low acceptance towards women captured as prisoners of war.
Another major challenge that women may face is physiological and family issues. Motherhood and child care are vital factors that limit the participation of women in the defence forces.
A permanent commission is much needed in the present democratic setup of our country as it ensures equality of opportunity and seeks much-needed empowerment for them. The changing nature of present-day wars where dependences on technology, has kept the doors open for women in Defence. Also, many international armies like the US, Israel, France, Germany etc deploy women in frontline combat positions.
Thus changes have to take place in the culture, norms and values of not only the rank and title of the Army but also that of society at large. It breaks the shackles of old traditions and gives the right to every woman to pursue the career of her choice and reach the top.