Women in Combat

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shukla
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Re: Women in Combat

Postby shukla » 08 Dec 2010 14:44

Women set their sights above ground level
Deccan Chronicle

Image

Captain S. N. Reddy, CEO of the AP Aviation Academy said: “Nearly 30 per cent of the total pilots that we train are women. There are fewer women training in engineering or as ground staff, but the demand is increasing for pilot training and so is the competition.” He attributes the increase in women pilots to the Indian Air Force opening its doors to women pilots and civil aviation increasing its recruitment of women, who have a good track record. “Indian Airlines and Air India have some of the best lady pilots,” he says.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Aditya G » 11 Dec 2010 20:32

ParGha wrote:The COIN mission is a necessary but highly undesirable and distractive mission for the IA, which it honestly wants to offload to MHA forces as soon as possible.


Hi ParGha, how did you come to this conclusion i.e. IA whats to 'offload' the mission?

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Surya » 11 Dec 2010 21:04

nice picture

good to see the exuberance of the young

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Rony » 16 Feb 2011 07:49

Beautiful Military Women Around the World

http://www.coolpicturegallery.net/2010/ ... world.html

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby nits » 16 Feb 2011 09:20

^^ The Indian soldier in above carry a "No Nonsene" Look... Nice... Don't mess with me...

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby shiv » 16 Feb 2011 10:11

nits wrote:^^ The Indian soldier in above carry a "No Nonsene" Look... Nice... Don't mess with me...


Yeah and she's practically the only one standing in a potential combat zone withing meters of an enemy.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Raja Bose » 16 Feb 2011 12:10

Interestingly the Holland soldier has a Om tattooed on her arm.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby shiv » 16 Feb 2011 13:59

Raja Bose wrote:Interestingly the Holland soldier has a Om tattooed on her arm.


Maybe Nepali origin?

The Greek girl looks like a Greek goddess.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Yogesh » 16 Feb 2011 14:42

Rony wrote:Beautiful Military Women Around the World

http://www.coolpicturegallery.net/2010/ ... world.html

I know it's quite OT but could not resist to post
Rony garu i saw this when just got in office ... now not able to work at all (so i said to my boss as well) ... I sahred this to all my team including my BOSS as well .. now he comes to me ask - is that reason you are not able to concentrate you poor :-?

Indonesian was the best :P although many contenders like belgium, romanian, chinese, south korean...

back to lurking

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby abhishek_sharma » 26 Feb 2011 08:44


shiv
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Re: Women in Combat

Postby shiv » 06 Mar 2011 20:14


atreya
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Re: Women in Combat

Postby atreya » 06 Mar 2011 22:41

Are they CISF jawans or commandos? AFAIK, the CISF commando unit is called Black Panthers and they are in charge of VIP security now.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby VinodTK » 22 Mar 2011 03:24

Shanti at helm of US warship
Indian-American Shanti Sethi is at the helm of the USS Decatur, which docked in Chennai for four days last week, an American embassy statement said in New Delhi.

“The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is led by Commander Shanti Sethi, an American of Indian descent. Commander Sethi is also the first female commanding officer of a US navy ship to visit Chennai,” the statement said.


WOW

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby chackojoseph » 27 May 2011 11:56

80 IAF Women Officers will be reinstated. They just won a case in Delhi HC. I will post details when i receive.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Singha » 27 May 2011 12:03

methinks its about time we took the next step and let women serve in combat engineers, ASC, signals, EW, UAV attached to IA frontline divisions. lots of candidates would be willing and able to do the job. we cannot waste 50% of our human resources just because we have enough men....let both compete and may the biggest baddest people win.

tactical and strategic missile regiments is also an opening.

yeah yeah old school purists will argue that women will not 'do it' in the bush every morning, but thats a problem easily solved by adding a portable toilet and shower truck to the convoy.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby rohitvats » 27 May 2011 12:13

^^^Only those who do not know the issues faced wrt women officers can make the above statement.

By most accounts, they are more of a headache than an asset.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Lalmohan » 27 May 2011 12:18

yet women have been entering the combat arms in many western armies for a few years now...
maybe the problem is one of indian society?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Rahul M » 27 May 2011 12:41

would you consider an AAC pilot doing cas-evac under enemy fire at kargil combat role or not ?
there are many other branches where women can be employed to the advantage of both forces and the candidates themselves. there is no need to force the option that it has to be in an infantry or armoured unit.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby chackojoseph » 27 May 2011 12:46

The lady fficer who is in touch with me (from one of the 3 wings), tells me that there is an officer shortage. Secondly she says that they have been posted at par with men. Thirdly she says that 14 years is prime time of their life. Lastly she says "I just want to get back into my uniform."

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby rohitvats » 27 May 2011 12:50

Lalmohan wrote:yet women have been entering the combat arms in many western armies for a few years now...
maybe the problem is one of indian society?


The main problem is with respect to the operational requirements of the Indian Army - the society issue - on how women conduct themselves and their acceptance/perception by other people and their own comfort level - simply adds to it.

For all the hoopla about women in western armies (even in non-combat role), these armies have no where close operational requirements (and deployment in so called peace times) as Indian Army. Deployment on LOC with AOC which might require the lady officer to manage one of the independent detachments is harsh enough to create issues for the CO of the unit.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Singha » 27 May 2011 12:52

everything in the army is a risk, some more than others....if women themselves say they want combat roles and pass the metrics why not?

the mental trap is to fall into the typical indian model of forbidding women from risky manual work or hard labour. well take a look at any construction site, brick kiln or farm - women are doing really very hard labour at minimum wages all over india. many of them have left young kids behind in care of grand parents to work and survive.

ofcourse say a woman soldier who persishes in some incident or accident will make headlines for the barking dogs in the media , but so long as society and forces treat everyone as equal, barking will soon subside. no special allowances should be made once an arm of the service is opened to both types of humans. dont lower the bar, be fair, reject any special treatments or softness and those that are tough enough as the men will last the course, rest will melt away.

there will be arms of the service where very very few women will make the bar - like para SF units, marcos, divers ... its the natural course of work and the bar should not be lowered anywhere. if anyone can crawl over the bar and is comfortable with the living conditions and work, no point rejecting a good candidate.
Last edited by Singha on 27 May 2011 12:56, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby rohitvats » 27 May 2011 12:53

chackojoseph wrote:The lady fficer who is in touch with me (from one of the 3 wings), tells me that there is an officer shortage. Secondly she says that they have been posted at par with men. Thirdly she says that 14 years is prime time of their life. Lastly she says "I just want to get back into my uniform."


Sure. Posted at par with men is not same as being involved at par with men.

Like in IAF for women officers is 5 Star as compared to requirements in the IA. You're at base most of the time or will come back to base.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby rohitvats » 27 May 2011 12:55

Singha wrote:everything in the army is a risk, some more than others....if women themselves say they want combat roles and pass the metrics why not?

the mental trap is to fall into the typical indian model of forbidding women from risky manual work or hard labour. well take a look at any construction site, brick kiln or farm - women are doing really very hard labour at minimum wages all over india. many of them have left young kids behind in care of grand parents to work and survive.


As I said earlier, all seems nice and dandy from outside.

If you want to change something - first, make the physcial exercises and pass criterias same for bot the sexes at OTA and then, we'll talk. As for women wanting to take risks - all very nice statements but the proof on the ground is way different.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby chackojoseph » 27 May 2011 12:57

rohitvats wrote:Sure. Posted at par with men is not same as being involved at par with men.

Like in IAF for women officers is 5 Star as compared to requirements in the IA. You're at base most of the time or will come back to base.


I have not taken a stand. I just relayed. :|

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Singha » 27 May 2011 12:58

yes I agree that bar should be same for both - not a watered down model for women in the regime of political correctness, if such is the case now, it should be made same and no more newbies be allowed in unless they crawl over the same bar. 45kg bofors shell is the same shell no matter who is lifting, cannot have people in such units who only life 30 because they are women.

people's lives depend on the same std being upheld...so that when someone is on ur back you would know you can expect same level of competence and toughness.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Rahul M » 27 May 2011 13:09

I think there is no reason not to grant permanent commission to women in non-combat branches like education, law etc.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby chackojoseph » 27 May 2011 14:36

Rahul M wrote:I think there is no reason not to grant permanent commission to women in non-combat branches like education, law etc.


They have got and some are in the process. The current case is about the women who went out of service as the descisions came late. Logically, if the descision came in correct time, they would not have retired. Now they want reinstation.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby nelson » 27 May 2011 14:51

chackojoseph wrote:80 IAF Women Officers will be reinstated. They just won a case in Delhi HC. I will post details when i receive.


This is getting to the borderline of being ridiculous. Officers who get short service commission join on service conditions made known to them at the outset. To agitate the issue at a later stage and taking mileage out of social and political considerations does not serve the purpose of the forces. In fact it puts them at a loss.
Now if this order gets implemented, then the SS officers(male) released at the end of term of engagement(5 or 10 or 14 yrs) to whom grant of PC has been declined, can also be reinstated? :roll:

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby chackojoseph » 27 May 2011 15:08

nelson wrote:This is getting to the borderline of being ridiculous. Officers who get short service commission join on service conditions made known to them at the outset. To agitate the issue at a later stage and taking mileage out of social and political considerations does not serve the purpose of the forces. In fact it puts them at a loss.
Now if this order gets implemented, then the SS officers(male) released at the end of term of engagement(5 or 10 or 14 yrs) to whom grant of PC has been declined, can also be reinstated? :roll:


As I understand, the story is different. As I wrote here

Policy regarding permanent commission to women was to be promulgated within 5 years of induction of the first batch of the women officers. However the Government’s policy of according permanent commission to women came 11 years late in 2008. The policy is applicable only to lady officers joining the Navy after 2009. Further, this policy is not applicable to all branches.


So logically, they have a right to fight. Had government decided otherwise, the cases wouldn't have come. The gals would have been sitting home sewing sweater.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby RajeshA » 19 Jun 2011 14:06

Somewhat older article:

Published on Apr 26, 2011
By Maj Gen Mrinal Suman
Women in the Armed Forces: India Defence Review
The whole concept of women’s induction in the services has to be viewed in a holistic and objective manner. The first step should be to ascertain whether the required preconditions, as mentioned above, exist to warrant women’s entry into the Indian services. Here is a brief appraisal:
  • India is not short of male volunteers.
  • India is still a second generation technology force which is trying desperately to graduate to the third generation, whereas the US and the Western nations are already well into the fourth generation. Indian defence forces are manpower intensive needing physical ground effort.
  • Indian society is passing through a phase of transition from traditionalism to modernity. Societal and cultural ethos continue to be mired in sex discrimination.
  • A major part of the Indian Army is deployed on combat duties at all times. Peace tenures are rare and there are very few periods of comparative lull.

In view of the above, the following are suggested:
  • Women must continue to play a dominant role in the Armed Forces Medical Services and the Military Nursing Service. They have done India proud by rising to three-star ranks. Their contribution in providing medical support to the soldiers has been invaluable.
  • Their expertise, talent and dedication should be profitably utilised in areas which are totally non-combat in nature and where their competence can be fully harnessed. As is being done at present, they should continue to serve in Legal and Education Branches of the services. They could even be considered for the grant of permanent commission at a later date.
  • A majority of uniformed officers in the Survey of India, Military Engineering Service Militarised Cadre, Director General Quality Assurance and such organisations should be women. The current provision for 14 years service should remain in force.
  • The current policy of non-induction of women in combat arms should continue. Additionally, their entry into Engineers, Signals, Supply Corps, Ordnance and EME (Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) should be deferred for the time being and reviewed after a few years, once the environment becomes more conducive for their smooth absorption in the organisation.

The services are not opposed to the entry of women per se but demand that a number of crucial issues, as discussed above, be addressed as well. Decisions which have a far reaching effect on the functioning of the armed forces must be taken with due diligence and after a careful study.


My Comments:

Actually I am sometimes appalled by the attitude of our armed forces towards women. One should consider the service by women in India's armed forces totally completely absolutely free of gender considerations.When women enter the armed services, they know they are choosing a tough job. So anything a man is expected to do, similarly a woman should be expected to do. One should fashion one's policies around the task, and not around gender.

There are obviously certain constraints.
  • Men could have more physical power, so the expectations on women would need to be brought down, just as with men also one does not impose conditions that they be just as strong as the world's best bodybuilders, some women should not be expected to be a strong as men, but other than that there need not be any need for lower expectations from women serving.
  • Then there is the case, when women soldiers are sexually harassed by her colleagues. Such a incidents should be dealt with very sternly. The man who sexually harass women colleagues should be held down by his colleagues, and the harassed woman should be allowed to give a kick to his balls. That would solve the problem.
  • Another exceptional treatment, would be in the case of pregnancy, and the woman soldier would need to be sent on somewhat long term pregnancy leave, something which men do not need to take.
  • Furthermore, women should be allowed to fight in combat zones just like men, perhaps with the additional provision of a reversible tubal ligation operation, so that should the woman soldier be captured, she cannot be made pregnant with the offspring of the enemy, something not necessarily to what captured men soldiers would be subjected to. Fertilization goes beyond mere physical torture, for it can destroy both the psyche and one's whole life.

Other that these exception treatments, a woman should be able to do anything a man is allowed to do in the Services, and reach the topmost position. Period.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Gaur » 19 Jun 2011 14:47

^^
I think you should go through the following post.

Jagan wrote:Dont know if this was posted before

http://www.indiandefencereview.com/2010 ... facts.html

Women in the Armed Forces: misconceptions and facts
By Maj Gen Mrinal Suman

In the recent past, the nation was shocked to hear a retired senior Army officer recommending constitution of all women battalions in the Indian Army. There cannot be a more preposterous and perilous proposition. It is equally common to hear the argument that if the Naxalites and LTTE can have women fighters, why the Indian armed forces should be reluctant to do so. Often people quote the number of American women fighting war in Iraq and Afghanistan to question India’s stance against allowing women in combat. This article endeavours to remove some common misconceptions and put all issues in their proper perspective.


Common misconceptions and facts

Women must get equal opportunities in the services!

The concept of equality of sexes is unquestionable. Its application should, however, never affect the fighting potential of the armed forces. Two points need to be highlighted here. First, the armed forces are constituted for national defence and there can be no compromise on that issue. Secondly, the armed forces are not a ‘Rozgar Yojana’ to provide employment to all segments of the society in equal proportion. As it is a question of nation’s defence, the best man or woman should be selected for every job. In other words, women should be inducted in the services only if they add value or at least not affect it adversely. No right thinking individual can advocate women’s induction at the cost of the fighting potential. That would be disastrous for the country.

Interestingly, demand for equal opportunities is selective in nature. Women want to join only as officers and not as soldiers. Additionally, the concept of equality is given a go-by soon after commissioning. Applications for peace postings and other special dispensations proliferate. They join the military on the plank of equality of sexes but this plank vanishes the day they join the training academy. Thereafter, they again become the weaker sex needing special privileges.

Women can perform all physical tasks as well as men!

Standards of physical fitness of women can never be the same as those of men. It is a biological reality and is true for all fields including sports. In the case of women officers, Indian Army has lowered the standards to appallingly low levels. Even then many women fail to qualify during their pre-commission training. Whereas male cadets are required to run 5 km in 28 minutes, women are given 40 minutes. Similarly, males are required to jump across a 9 feet wide ditch with full equipment and personal weapon; women have to negotiate only a 5 feet wide ditch. Worse, most women fail in the test.

All male officers and soldiers are subjected to annual Battle Physical Efficiency Tests till they attain the age of 45 years. No such tests have been prescribed for women officers to avoid embarrassment to them in front of the troops. Concerns have also been expressed about the susceptibility of Indian women to frequent back problems, pelvic injuries and stress fractures.

Physical fitness is of lesser importance in modern fighting!

Need for physical effort is dictated by two factors - level of technological development and nature of military’s involvement. Requirement for physical prowess undoubtedly reduces as the armies advance technologically. In other words, quantum of physical effort needed is inversely proportional to technological progression. Thus, as an army evolves technologically, more high-tech jobs get generated where technically qualified women can be gainfully employed. In a high-tech army like the US, a woman sitting in the US mainland can effectively guide drone attacks in Afghanistan. India on the other hand is still a second generation technology force which is trying desperately to graduate to the third generation. Indian defence forces are man-power intensive needing physical ground effort. India has very few high-tech jobs.


The US has deployed a large number of women soldiers for fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!
Although a large number of women have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, their employment has been confined to support functions. Although till the end of 2009, the US and allies had suffered a total of 4689 casualties, there has not been a single woman war casualty. Similarly, despite the fact that the US and allies have suffered 1555 casualties, not a single woman has lost her life in the Afghanistan war so far. Many people tend to confuse casualties due to hostile action with combat casualties. The US has lost 19 female servicemen in Iraq to hostile activities like car bombs, IED blasts and helicopter crashes since the beginning of 2007, but there has been no combat casualty. It is simply because of the fact no women are deployed in combat duties. As a matter of fact, they are forbidden to be placed in direct ground combat with enemy. They generally perform medical, intelligence, logistic and traffic control duties. Women are thus kept sheltered in safe appointments, away from the risk of capture by the adversary.

Even in Israel which has conscription for women (as well as men), women are not allotted active battle field duties. They serve in technical, administrative and training posts to release men for active duty.

If BSF can have an all women battalion to guard border, why not the Indian Army!

The Border Security Force (BSF) has certainly raised an all women battalion and deployed it on the international border. However, the following important facts need to be highlighted:-

■The battalion is led by male officers and subordinate functionaries.
■The battalion has not been positioned on the Line of Control where firing and infiltration attempts are frequent. Instead, it has been deployed near Ferozepur on the International Border (IB) which is totally peaceful and where Indian and Pak troops routinely exchange sweets on festivals.
■Even on IB no independent sector has been entrusted to the women battalion. It has been superimposed on an existing male battalion. Importantly, women perform no night guard duties - these are performed by males.
Earlier, village women were not allowed to go across the border fence to cultivate their fields as no women sentries were available to frisk them. It was a sore point with the border folks. The sole purpose of raising the women battalion is to redress this long standing grievance. Their task is akin to what CISF women have been carrying out at the airports for long - frisking of women. Therefore, it will be incorrect to call the BSF battalion a fighting force.

Women officers help overcome the shortage of officers in the forces!

It is an erroneous impression that there is a shortage of male volunteers for the services. As per the report of the Union Public Service Commission for 2006-07, there were a total of 5,49,365 candidates for 1724 vacancies for all civil services examinations with an Applicants to Post Ratio (APR) of 319. On the other hand, 3,41,818 candidates applied for 793 vacancies in the National Defence Academy (NDA), maintaining APR at a healthy 431. It implies that for every seat in NDA there were 431 applicants. Therefore, it is a fallacy that male volunteers are insufficient. It is just that the services seek very exacting standards for males while women are accepted with abysmally low standards.

Short service commission for women has proved highly productive!

As a matter of fact, short service commission (normally extended to 10 years) has proved to be a totally wasteful and counter-productive exercise. Women normally get commissioned at the age of 23 to 25 years. Within two to three years of their commission, they get married, mostly to colleague male officers. Soon thereafter they start applying for peace postings on compassionate grounds to be with their husbands. Every pregnancy means three years’ exemption from physical activities - one year pre-natal and two years post-delivery. With the standard two-child norm, a women officer remains physically inactive for close to six years. It implies that after the first post-commission tenure, a woman officer is rarely in a position to participate in field exercises and has to be exempted all out-door work. Thus the services gain little.

In an informal interaction, a senior Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) questioned the rationale of granting SSC to women. “In the case of men, 25 to 35 years age span is most productive and grant of SSC is understandable. On the other hand, women have to raise their families during that period. By granting SSC to women, we have achieved nothing except increase the load on maternity wards of military hospitals,” he opined.

If women can fight as soldiers in LTTE and Naxalite outfits, why not in the services!

Comparing irregular outfits with constitutionally created regular forces shows speciousness of the logic. In any case, even LTTE recruited women only after it fell short of male volunteers. Moreover, women held no high appointments and were generally used as pawns in indoctrinated suicide squads. If one was to carry the comparison forward, LTTE had recruited boys of 15 years to take up arms and act as human bombs. A lawfully structured formal organisation cannot be expected to follow suit.

Indian women officers have proved themselves and established their credibility as leaders!

Not withstanding the public posturing of the services top brass, the experience so far has been highly discouraging. Superior male officers admire their enthusiasm despite the environmental difficulties, but are faced with the twin problems of their safety and useful employment. Additionally, as many duties (like night duty officer) cannot be assigned to women, male officers have to be given additional work load, which they resent. There are also concerns, based on Israeli studies, that soldiers first instinct may be to defend the women in their ranks rather than to fight the enemy.

Male officers also question the logic of having women only as officer. Indian officers pride themselves in the fact that they lead from the front and hence have to be better than their soldiers both physically and professionally. But, by having women only in the officer cadre an impression gets conveyed to the environment that officers’ duties are softer and can be carried out by women as well, thereby lowering our standing.

As per an informal survey carried out, 81 percent of the troops were convinced that women officers could never lead them in war efficiently. The balance 19 percent were unsure of their response. Acceptability of women as leaders was thus very poor. Another segment of respondents viewed the whole issue as a political gimmick which did not warrant serious attention. “How can the Government be naïve enough to think that a leader who cannot run, train and exercise with troops and lacks required physical fitness can lead them in war?” they query.

Women in Western forces are well accepted and adjusted!

It is a fallacy. Acceptance of women in the military has not been smooth in any country. Despite efforts made to sensitise the environment, they continue to be confronted with social, behavioural and psychological problems at all levels. To date most countries do not allow women tank crews because of the cramped conditions and lack of privacy. There are also concerns about cramped living conditions on board submarines and dangers posed by fumes inside the submarine to a foetus if a woman becomes pregnant.

Sexual harassment and assaults of women soldiers is known to be blatant and quite prevalent in the US forces. A sexual harassment hotline set up at Aberdeen received 6,825 calls from women from all branches of the military in just two months. Hundreds of women are said to have complained of sexual assault in the forces since the beginning of Iraq war in 2003. Level of moral degradation can be gauged from the fact that ‘command rape’ has come to be accepted as a common phenomenon in the military - a superior official, under the might of his command authority, can force a subordinate woman soldier to accede to his sexual demands.

A joint survey carried out in 2006 in the UK by the Ministry of Defence and the Equal Opportunities Commission found that 67% of the respondents had experienced sexualised behaviour directed at them personally in the previous 12 months. Worse, over half of those who made a formal complaint stated that there had been negative consequences as a result of which 64 per cent were considering leaving the services.

On the other hand, Indian Armed Forces can be rightfully proud of their record which is far better than that of any advanced nation in the world. Women are treated in a manner befitting their dignity and their safety is ensured.

India needs to exercise caution

It is universally accepted that induction of women in the services should be dictated by the level of technology, prevailing security environment and the nature of likely deployment. Availability of adequate number of male volunteers is another major consideration.

India should follow a graduated approach. Women’s expertise, talent and competence should be profitably utilised in areas which are totally non-combat in nature. For the present, women must continue to play their established role in the medical, dental and nursing services, both as short service and permanent commission officers. However, they should not be granted short service commission in any other branch. The Government has rightly approved grant of permanent commission to women in legal and education departments of the three services, accounts branch of the Air Force and constructors of the Navy. Grant of permanent commission should also be considered for women in Survey of India, Military Engineering Service Militarised Cadre and Director General Quality Assurance.

The current policy of non-induction of women in combat arms should continue. Additionally, their entry into Engineers, Signals, Supply Corps, Ordnance and EME (Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) should be deferred till infusion of technology generates adequate number of high-tech jobs.

Finally, it should never be forgotten that the raison d’être for the constitution of the armed forces is to ensure security of the country. Decisions which have a far reaching effect on the defence potential of the armed forces must be taken with due diligence. Instead of replicating a model, India must chart its own policy. It has an experience of 18 years. Honest feedback must be sought to appreciate the true ground situation and initiate corrective measures. Most importantly, the military brass must show moral courage to admit that the present mess demands a holistic review of the policy, protestations of self-styled champions of gender-parity not withstanding. Decisions taken as a matter of political and populist expediency can prove disastrous for the nation in the long run. Defence matters cannot be treated as publicity gimmick to flaunt sexual equality.

Maj Gen Mrinal Suman is India’s foremost expert in defence procurement procedures and offsets. He heads Defence Technical Assessment and Advisory Services Group of CII.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby RajeshA » 19 Jun 2011 15:05

Gaur ji,

that is the article on which I commented. Sorry I did not know that it was already posted here by Jagan.

But my views differ totally from Maj Gen Mrinal Suman's. If women are restricted to medical, dental and nursing services and legal and education departments, they would not really be rising in the hierarchy.

Combat role is vital for them to be accepted as equals and to rise up in the hierarchy. What they are getting right now is secondary and supporting jobs.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Rahul M » 19 Jun 2011 15:22

Rajesh ji, pardon me for saying so but I am in turn appalled by the sheer naivete in your post.

# military service is still very labour intensive and dilution of physical standards to make it accessible to certain sections of society goes against the very grain of soldiering. why not dilute standards in every merit based appointment to make them accessible to larger sections of society ?
# sexual harrassment is dealt with sternly, IA does not need your pontification on this issue.
# I am not questioning the commitment or motivation of female soldiers but are we as a society ready to accept that women soldiers may be tortured in enemy hands ?

a much less brutal hostage crisis in IC-814 saw everyone from 'national media' to 'civil society' bring enormous pressure on govt to give in to each and every terrorist demands, what would be the reaction if say a couple of female soldiers are kidnapped and terrorists make demands in return for their life ?

everyone from NCW to bark da hutt would be barking at the doorstep of the govt to surrender 'cashmere' and dissolve the army. there is no need for the military to go through that circus for questionable gains. there are literally millions of jobs which can be filled with women from the well known medical branches to signals and flying. (women pilots did fly choppers in kargil, google gunjan saxena)

If women are restricted to medical, dental and nursing services and legal and education departments, they would not really be rising in the hierarchy.

Combat role is vital for them to be accepted as equals and to rise up in the hierarchy. What they are getting right now is secondary and supporting jobs.
are ranks like air marshal and lt gen low in hierarchy ?
http://www.thecolorsofindia.com/interes ... force.html
the point of the defence forces is to defend the country, not practice affirmative action for any branch of society.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby RajeshA » 19 Jun 2011 19:42

Rahul M wrote:Rajesh ji, pardon me for saying so but I am in turn appalled by the sheer naivete in your post.

Rahul M ji,

On Military Forum, every time I write people will see naivete for I do not have a military background and am not well-versed in all things military! It will take me some time to outgrow it.

Rahul M wrote:# military service is still very labour intensive and dilution of physical standards to make it accessible to certain sections of society goes against the very grain of soldiering. why not dilute standards in every merit based appointment to make them accessible to larger sections of society?


It is the service that chooses which standards the servicemen have to fulfill. Would the service say that all servicemen need to be as strong as the Olympic Weight Lifting Champions, our armed forces would probably be a very tiny force indeed. There is a long, broad and bright record of servicewomen around the world, including in combat-risk duty as Maj Gen Mrinal Suman himself has elaborated.

I am all for having tough training and merit, but I am not for simply using exaggerated physical strength requirements as a criteria and excuse to disqualify women.

Rahul M wrote:# sexual harrassment is dealt with sternly, IA does not need your pontification on this issue.

My "pontification" did not come out of the blue sky, but rather in response to the following assessment by Maj Gen Mrinal Suman
Maj Gen Mrinal Suman wrote:Sexual Harassment
This is one single concern that has defied solution so far – how to ensure safety and protect dignity of women in the forces. Almost all women view this as their major fear. The American and the British societies are highly emancipated and liberal with women having equal status in all fields. Yet, the level of sexual harassment of women in their forces is startling.

What hurts women most is the attitude of military officials who dismiss complaints as frivolous and due to over-sensitivities of women involved. Even serious accusations of sexual assault are many times treated in a perfunctory manner. Moreover, many officers tend to adopt an attitude of acquiescence by resorting to ‘boys will be boys’ apology. In the US, only two to three percent perpetrators are court-martialled and they are also let off with minimal punishment

Perhaps you may like to suggest some reaction to the piece, which would sound less pontificating!

Rahul M wrote:# I am not questioning the commitment or motivation of female soldiers but are we as a society ready to accept that women soldiers may be tortured in enemy hands ?

Once one joins the service one is not simply a man or a woman, one becomes a warrior, a protector. That is why I said we should look at servicemen and servicewomen in a gender-neutral way. I don't know about society, but if any one of our warriors falls into the hands of the enemy, then we should simply consider it as a warrior having been captured, regardless of the gender. I also made a proposal as to how that can be better accepted - using mandatory reversible tubal ligation for all those women, who would wish to serve in a "combat-risk" capacity.

Yes it will be a bitter poison should a woman soldier fall into the hands of the enemy, but we should drink it, because it would further our nation's evolution as a society of warriors, which prides itself for the bravery of our women soldiers. It is exactly for the reason that currently the plight of our woman soldier in the hands of the enemy still does not allow us to take the next step, that we should push ourselves across the line and allow it. That is evolution.

Rahul M wrote:a much less brutal hostage crisis in IC-814 saw everyone from 'national media' to 'civil society' bring enormous pressure on govt to give in to each and every terrorist demands, what would be the reaction if say a couple of female soldiers are kidnapped and terrorists make demands in return for their life ?

everyone from NCW to bark da hutt would be barking at the doorstep of the govt to surrender 'cashmere' and dissolve the army. there is no need for the military to go through that circus for questionable gains.

It is when we dodge that the circus would follow us, because it thinks we are vulnerable and uneasy with the situation and its implications on our principles. We should face it head on, and tell the circus what our principles (new ones) are and we need not be shy about them.

We can't run from the media. We should mould it.

Rahul M wrote:there are literally millions of jobs which can be filled with women from the well known medical branches to signals and flying. (women pilots did fly choppers in kargil, google gunjan saxena)

Yes all those jobs can filled with women, and many more, including the top job, including all those kick ass jobs.

To be frank, in a democratic country with a universal suffrage, one person one vote, regardless of man or woman, I am not even sure the men have a right to tell the women till where they may go and no further!

Rahul M wrote:
RajeshA wrote:If women are restricted to medical, dental and nursing services and legal and education departments, they would not really be rising in the hierarchy.

Combat role is vital for them to be accepted as equals and to rise up in the hierarchy. What they are getting right now is secondary and supporting jobs.
are ranks like air marshal and lt gen low in hierarchy ?
http://www.thecolorsofindia.com/interes ... force.html
the point of the defence forces is to defend the country, not practice affirmative action for any branch of society.

Equality is not affirmative action.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby shiv » 19 Jun 2011 20:03

RajeshA wrote:On Military Forum, every time I write people will see naivete for I do not have a military background and am not well-versed in all things military! It will take me some time to outgrow it.
<snip>
Once one joins the service one is not simply a man or a woman, one becomes a warrior, a protector. That is why I said we should look at servicemen and servicewomen in a gender-neutral way.


Rajesh you are bringing in gender where the issue is not just gender. Frontline combat is the worst situation that any human can get into. The physical requirements are exceedingly harsh and lives and territory revolve around physical fitness and endurance. I would rate your bodybuilders comment as particularly naive. Any well trained infantryman would give any bodybuilder of his weight class a run for his money in the sense that he would be able to run 20 km with a weight that would stop a body builder in 2 km.

Women can certainly do a lot of the jobs that men do - starting from being pilots or navigators, drivers to perhaps tank warfare. But when it comes to situations where physical strength matters infantry and artillery - it is stupid to discount biology. Women are just smaller and weaker than men. It's not about rape.

If you go though this thread you will find that everyone supports women in the armed forces but the physical requirements thing that you have brought up is not necessarily well thought out, and may be plain ignorance. You are actually setting up a strawman and at fighting to protect the strawman with a degree of tenacity that only you (and a few others on BRF) are capable of.

It would be easy to expose your ignorance. for example a demonstration that is made in "Know Your Army" demos held in many cities is the setting up of a bridge that can be used for a tank to cross. this involves the lifting and manipulating of prefabricated metal parts that weigh several hundred kilos. The job is done in under five minutes by about 10 men. Women cannot be asked to meet that standard. So in combat under fire - one would have to get 15 women to do the same job, or else depute that job to men alone.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Gaur » 19 Jun 2011 20:48

I have always wondered. Why doesn't media and women activists demand equality in other physically demanding jobs. Like, why is there is different categories for men and women in Olympics? Why different football/cricket/hockey teams?
People say that such talk is sexist. But that is just a convenient way of avoiding the question and hiding from a biological fact.

Saying that, I personally do support women as fighter pilots. But I really hope that infantry and artillery positions are not opened for them in near future. Is distant future, where technology shares much more of workload, then perhaps it would be the time. And all this is said disregarding the social aspects of the matter.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby RajeshA » 19 Jun 2011 21:04

shiv wrote:Rajesh you are bringing in gender where the issue is not just gender. Frontline combat is the worst situation that any human can get into. The physical requirements are exceedingly harsh and lives and territory revolve around physical fitness and endurance. I would rate your bodybuilders comment as particularly naive. Any well trained infantryman would give any bodybuilder of his weight class a run for his money in the sense that he would be able to run 20 km with a weight that would stop a body builder in 2 km.

I did correct the comparison to weight lifter subsequently distancing the issue from bodybuilder. :mrgreen: And I tried not to make it an issue of stamina.

Some of my impressions about the physical strength of women were formed seeing European women bodybuilders working out in my gym (= gym where I go). If a woman wants to push her body, there is a decent level of strength she can build up. First impression: In my first encounter with such women folk, I almost lost my so-virginity to a Bulgarian woman wrestler. Though I don't want to be crunching numbers here, I am quite confident that a motivated woman soldier, Indian or otherwise, can pass the usual tests of physical endurance that come her way.

My point was not to use the criteria of physical strength for the sole purpose of disqualifying women, because the hierarchy is not well disposed to the concept of women working on the front line. I am not speaking against women having to go through the usual drill if they wish to serve in combat-risk duties.

shiv wrote:Women can certainly do a lot of the jobs that men do - starting from being pilots or navigators, drivers to perhaps tank warfare.

There certainly are combat-risk jobs on the front line, which are not necessarily infantry or artillery. As you point out yourself. The point is whether they are allowed to gain sufficient experience in the field on the front-lines, not to have the lack of such experience be used as an argument for imposing a glass ceiling on the women in the hierarchy.

shiv wrote:But when it comes to situations where physical strength matters infantry and artillery - it is stupid to discount biology. Women are just smaller and weaker than men. It's not about rape.
Except when they are not, or except when they really pump up their muscles and work on their fitness. As noted earlier.

shiv wrote:If you go though this thread you will find that everyone supports women in the armed forces but the physical requirements thing that you have brought up is not necessarily well thought out, and may be plain ignorance. You are actually setting up a strawman and at fighting to protect the strawman with a degree of tenacity that only you (and a few others on BRF) are capable of.

It would be easy to expose your ignorance. for example a demonstration that is made in "Know Your Army" demos held in many cities is the setting up of a bridge that can be used for a tank to cross. this involves the lifting and manipulating of prefabricated metal parts that weigh several hundred kilos. The job is done in under five minutes by about 10 men. Women cannot be asked to meet that standard. So in combat under fire - one would have to get 15 women to do the same job, or else depute that job to men alone.

We change the question here a little bit. The new question is: would the military be okay with allowing her a place in the artillery or infantry, if a woman applicant is able to muster and prove the same levels of strength and endurance as a man, or would she be disqualified from serving in combat-risk duty for being a woman rather than simply not being sufficiently strong, physically speaking that is.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby shiv » 19 Jun 2011 21:11

RajeshA wrote: Except when they are not, or except when they really pump up their muscles and work on their fitness. As noted earlier.
<snip>
We change the question here a little bit. The new question is: would the military be okay with allowing her a place in the artillery or infantry, if a woman applicant is able to muster and prove the same levels of strength and endurance as a man, or would she be disqualified from serving in combat-risk duty for being a woman rather than simply not being sufficiently strong, physically speaking that is.


Rajesh you are shifting the goalpost to bypass objections to your original post. This can be continued forever - so I am signing out of this particular discussion.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby RajeshA » 19 Jun 2011 21:20

shiv wrote:
RajeshA wrote: Except when they are not, or except when they really pump up their muscles and work on their fitness. As noted earlier.
<snip>
We change the question here a little bit. The new question is: would the military be okay with allowing her a place in the artillery or infantry, if a woman applicant is able to muster and prove the same levels of strength and endurance as a man, or would she be disqualified from serving in combat-risk duty for being a woman rather than simply not being sufficiently strong, physically speaking that is.


Rajesh you are shifting the goalpost to bypass objections to your original post. This can be continued forever - so I am signing out of this particular discussion.


The essence of my post was, quoting myself
RajeshA wrote:The point is whether they are allowed to gain sufficient experience in the field on the front-lines, not to have the lack of such experience be used as an argument for imposing a glass ceiling on the women in the hierarchy.

The issue of physical strength was but one aspect of the bigger question! Still, thanks for your indulgence! :)

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby RajeshA » 19 Jun 2011 21:46

Gaur wrote:I have always wondered. Why doesn't media and women activists demand equality in other physically demanding jobs. Like, why is there is different categories for men and women in Olympics? Why different football/cricket/hockey teams?
People say that such talk is sexist. But that is just a convenient way of avoiding the question and hiding from a biological fact.

Saying that, I personally do support women as fighter pilots. But I really hope that infantry and artillery positions are not opened for them in near future. Is distant future, where technology shares much more of workload, then perhaps it would be the time. And all this is said disregarding the social aspects of the matter.

Gaur ji,
are you suggesting setting up 3 new services - an Indian All Women's Army, an Indian All Women's Navy, an Indian All Women's Air Force? :wink:


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