More streams in Army to be opened for women: Antony

More streams in Army to be opened for women: Antony

"Recently, two months back, in a meeting of the services chiefs, I told you have to open up more. Now they are processing the possibility of opening up more streams in the three services for lady officers,” the defence minister noted, delighted by the hoisting of the Indian tricolour and the IAF flag by seven air force personnel, three of whom were women.

“There was a time (when) armed forces were a closed door... only for male domination. Gradually things changed and two years back, we have decided to give permanent
commission to lady officers in seven streams of the armed forces," he said.

Noting that the process of increasing women’s role in the armed forces had already begun, Antony said it would gather momentum in the coming years. “Instead of the seven streams, more streams will be opened up for lady officers in the armed forces," he said.

Earlier, at the flag-in function of IAF women's mountaineering team, he said it was most heartening to see that the Indian Air Force is providing equal opportunities to women officers to participate in adventure sports like mountaineering.

“The courage, physical strength, stamina and mental toughness required to reach the world’s highest peak needs no emphasis. Women officers have risen to the challenge and come out with flying colours, only to prove to the world that they are no less than men in any way.  I hope this achievement will be yet another step in giving more representation to women in more streams of our Armed Forces and the society, in general,” he said.

The 1.4-million-strong armed forces have about 2,000 women officers in their ranks in the country. The army counts 2.5 per cent women in its ranks, the navy 3 pe rcent and the IAF over 7 per cent.

The services, till 2008, offered only a short service commission to women, and that too only in non-combat roles, though they could rise up to the rank of lieutenant general or equivalent in the medical services.

In 2009, the government opened up certain select non-combat streams such as education, law, signals, ordnance, and air traffic control in the three services to offer permanent commission for women officers after they completed 14 years of Short Service Commission.

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