Women in Combat

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Sanju
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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Sanju » 24 Jun 2008 19:37

Comparing a country with a population of 115+ million approx during WWII (extrapolated from this website (large PDF file - will take awhile to download), wherein the total loss of lives 13% equaling 15 million - page 300) and a country with 1200 million approx (in the current time period) just does not make sense.

3.2.4 Consequences of World War II and postwar trends in Soviet Russia
World War II cost Russia about 13% of the population (15 mln.) and 16% of its
demographic potential. This was the most dramatic cataclysm of the century, which
attracted the attention of many researchers (Andreev, Darsky, and Khar'kova 1990,
1993, and 1998, Denisenko and Shelestov 1994, Maksudov 1989, Dyadkin 1983, Eason
1959, Timasheff 1948, Lorimer 1946).


Why population? Coz, there is a direct link with requirements for the Army vis-a-vis its enemies. In olden days, most kingdoms were smaller and required as much "manpower" as possible even if the "manpower" was being provided by the women. In todays India, I do not see that. Moreover there are a large number of unemployed youths (males) not being able to get into the armed forces as they do not pass the test requirements and in the meantime we are lowering the bar for our women to join. It seems ironic to me.

Also the "baby factory" term however derogatory does paint a true picture. 1 man can impregnate many women in the same time-frame, however multiple men cannot simultaneously impregnate the same woman in the same time-frame. And just in case someone asks why impregnate a woman all you need is look at the current Russian population of 142 million approx and falling.

wiki

According to the 2002 Russian Census, Russia had a total population of 145,166,731, including 106,003,702 in the four European federal districts, and 39,129,729 in the three Asian federal districts. As of January 1, 2008, Russia's population declined to 142,008,838, according to the Russian State Statistics Service.


Disclaimer: I have nothing against women. I have a Grandmother, Mother, Wife, Daughter and other wonderful women in my life. :wink:

vinayd
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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby vinayd » 24 Jun 2008 21:07

To Jaeger:

Thanks for the response.

This is not about our beliefs, but those of the society we live in. I personally do not view rape as anything worse than what it is - the violation of a woman against her will. I do not think a rape victim is "spoilt" in any way, or anything of that nature at all.

But we do not live in a society that shares these beliefs. Most of our people do subscribe to the kind of thinking you have described. This is not about a few people on BRforum, it is about the average Indian whom our AF represent. There is a lot of baggage here. I am not talking about Jauhar. As recently as 1947, there were 1-2 million women abducted during partition. You can ask any family that suffered that - they will tell you it was far more traumatic for them than having male members killed. Do I agree with that? No. Does my opinion matter? Not at all. I am talking about the average Indian here. Our army fights for that average Indian.

Finally, I am open to both ideas, but as I have said, this is an issue that needs debate. Let us examine it critically, and arrive at a decision.

Btw, for a while I had the picture of Gunjan Saxena up in my office wall - so that is how proud I am of our women in combat. But I think we still need to have a debate on the matter.

Btw, this is not only about India either - Israel also is quite protective about sending its women (who all have had 2 yrs compulsory military training) into combat for much the same reason. The fate of women in enemy hands is something that needs to be discussed when the enemy is the kind we face. An enemy who will delight in using torture of captured women as a means to hurt. It had not even come up in the discussion (to my knowledge) earlier on the forum, and so I wanted to bring it up. I have not made up my mind either way at this point.

Finally, it need not be 0-1. We can exclude women from isolated search parties (of the kind that Capt. Kalia led). They can still be part of combat operations. But we need to discuss the issues at depth before decisions can be made. That was my only point.

Thanks again for your post.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Brando » 24 Jun 2008 22:02

PaulJI wrote:1. The difference in the average physical abilities of men and women. Both men and women have a wide range of physical abilities. Many women are stronger, faster, etc. than many men. Should a woman who can meet the same standard as a man be excluded because other women are weaker?

Not "many" but "few" women are stronger, faster, etc than the average man. And that is usually after extensive training. The fact is the average male is vastly faster, stronger etc than the average female. This is not some sexist rhetoric but rather scientific fact. Physical ability also depends on racial features but across the board in all races and all region, males are physically faster than their female counterparts.
If women were held to the same standard as men for qualification into the armed forces their numbers will not exceed a few thousand compared to the million odd men even in the US military. For example the physical requirements to join even elite forces like the US Special Operations Force, US Navy SEALS, British SAS etc have no female members not because the Americans or the British are loath to have females fighting for them but because females cannot measure up to the intense physical and psychological needs of combat. No PC just plain fact. Even their recruitment which they consider as "equal and just" states specifically that only men apply for these special positions.

PaulJI wrote:2. Lower physical standards applied to women applying for the military in many countries. This is not due directly to 1., but to PC attitudes which dictate that physical differences be ignored. If you ignore such foolishness, & apply the same standards to both, fewer women than men will meet them, but some women will pass.

Yes, some women will pass but then again strength, speed etc are just the basic criteria to apply for military service. There are various other considerations to take into account like the need to maintain unit cohesion, troop morale, the ability of soldiers to deal with their fellow soldiers, logistics for troops, etc. Even if you have an all-women unit, in the battlefield sooner or later they will have to be integrated or fight along side other male units where problems would arise. (Unless you have a whole division of women!) . Many commanders both within India and abroad have repeatedly stated that having women infantry soldiers is not conducive to unit cohesion and troop morale. Even the Israelis who require women to undergo military training dont utilize mixed units in active operations like for example the recent operations against Hizbullah and/or raids into Gaza. As a numerically inferior force to their enemies wouldnt you think they would utilize ALL the manpower they could ? They dont because they realize their limitations.

At the end of the day the repeated feminist calls for "equality" is not a sincere attempt to bring parity amongst the sexes but rather an endeavor to shackle the military with social politics.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby RayC » 25 Jun 2008 15:02

PaulJI wrote:
RayC wrote:Interesting discussion.

In war, you have to use the open air to relieve yourself.

Would a woman do so?

Or should the war effort be stopped to organise sheltered areas for women soldiers?

We had a problem with a lady RMO over privacy during the Kargil War.


You live in India, & you ask if a woman would relieve herself in the open? Have you ever been to the countryside? :rotfl:

Shy, shrinking, delicate women should not join the army. Any who try should be weeded out very quickly during training.

BTW, in my experience of female soldiers, such delicate sensibilities are entirely absent. They do what they have to.


Yes I am in India.

And have worked with women officers.

Have you been to Kargil or Ladhak?

Women relieve themselves in the countryside in areas earmarked for them and in fields with crop.

Do show me where I shall find that in the barren lands.

Am I to think of capturing a post or where the women should relieve themselves?

My experience is that women have delicate sensibilities, though I am ready to learn from your experiences.

Do let us know of your experiences.

It is easy to be a champion of gender equality but one has to also understand practical problems that reduce efficiency.

Can anyone in India order a woman to relieve herself in the same way as a man and damn the privacy?

You maybe of sterner stuff, but I would surely be discomfited!

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Shankar » 25 Jun 2008 15:27

a
ving established the point that there are women in society who should be permitted in combat roles from the physical point of view, there is no need to discuss the issue about how changing technology have made weapons lighter and easier for women to handle, although they do mean that more women would qualify for combat roles since physical performance standards can be less exacting. We will now address some of the objections commonly expressed against having women in combat roles.

Critics of women in combat roles argue that combat effectiveness on the battlefield is dependent not only on physical and technical proficiency but also on the cohesion of combat groups, and that this cohesion is the result of a socio-psychological process leading to male bonding. There is no doubt that bonding is important for any group effort to succeed and no less so than in the stressful environment of the battlefield, but there is no evidence to suggest that women placed in that kind of environment are not able to bond with their male comrades. There is in fact a great deal of evidence to suggest that men and women can work closely together in many civilian areas. What comes readily to mind is the overwhelming success of 'quality control circles' in Japanese industrial enterprises where men and women work closely together in intense competition with other groups.

So, male-female bonding is possible in the work place. But critics also maintain that such bonding is in fact based on sexual attraction and that men and women can never be 'mates' or 'buddys' the way men can because 'sex gets in the way'. While that may or may not be true in social situations, one can safely say that experience at civilian work places again shows that men and women can develop respect for each other and perhaps even form a 'brother-sister' relationship. In fact, it may be easier to establish good male-female relations in actual combat than during the routine of peacetime.

Men are socialised from young to believe that women are the weaker sex and hence need to be protected from harm. It is argued that such a belief may jeopardise combat missions because male soldiers would be distracted from their tasks if they have to give additional thought to the protection of their female comrades. The Israeli Defence Force subscribes to this view, but we should note several points which might have influenced the Israeli decision to exclude women from combat roles:

(1) The Israelis have an obsessive fear about what their enemies would do to their women POWs;

(2) The perceived threat from the enemy does not warrant the inclusion of Israeli women in combat roles;

(3) Most importantly, the idea of women in combat violates the Jewish concept of womanhood and the status of women as mothers.

The Israelis employed women in combat in the fledgling years of nationhood (in organisations known as the Haganah and the Palmach) and in the 1948 war when invading Arab armies threatened to destroy the infant Jewish nation. I would suggest that the employment of Israeli women in combat is still not beyond consideration should there be another similar survival crisis, only that such a crisis is very remote ever since Israel acquired nuclear weapons. (The Yom Kippur War of 1973 may well be the last conventional war between Israel and its neighbours.)

The point is often made that women are less able than men to withstand battlefield stress. Unless there is evidence to support this statement, we should not take it seriously. One is reminded of women astronauts and cosmonauts who have taken to space, of female adventurers who have scaled the heights of Mount Everest and dived beneath the Arctic ice. Few activities are as stressful as these. Then again, consider Margaret Thatcher who was not dubbed the Iron Lady without very good reasons. These are women with very tough mental constitutions; there is no reason to believe that there are no others like them who can cope with battlefield stress. Women certainly shed tears more easily than men - the Iron Lady cried in public when her son was reported lost during an African motor race - but one can argue that this gives them a 'safety valve' while men not having it might implode more easily from suppressed emotions.

That women menstruate is often taken as an argument against their participation in combat. In my view, this is nothing more than a hygiene problem and provided the logisticians do not neglect to load their trains with sanitary napkins there is no reason why we should be so concerned about it any more than we concern ourselves with the need to empty our bowels on the battlefield daily. What about the problem of privacy for menstruating women? In my opinion, the last thing any soldier should worry about during combat situations is privacy. Experience at West Point shows that women cadets often miss their periods when under strenuous physical activity. I do not think that these women cadets were lying in order to justify their presence in what is essentially a male preserve. Active female athletes report the same curiosity. Scientists surmise that this is nature's biological defence mechanism which is also found amongst women in societies under stress. That makes sense, for nothing can be more dreadful than to have women conceiving during a drought or a war.

What about pregnancies? Undoubtedly a pregnant woman should not be allowed to fight at the front-line. But women in general are not frequently pregnant and this removes the reason for excluding them from combat roles. There is of course the possibility that women might resort to intentional pregnancies in order to avoid combat duties but this is a problem to be addressed by clear policy regulations governing pregnancies during 'awkward' periods. It is not a reason for excluding women from combat roles.

Throughout history, society's attitude towards the role of men and women in combat has been shaped by the belief that men are by nature active and aggressive while women are passive and submissive; men had the hunting instinct while women kept home and raised children. Hence, men have always been regarded as suitable for fighting while women were left at home or consigned to the baggage train. There are two difficulties with this argument. Firstly, there is a repetition of the mistake to compare the (temperament of the) average man with the (temperament of the) average woman. The fact that some women can be more active and aggressive than men is ignored. Secondly, it does not explain why there are mild-mannered and passive men who have made good as combat soldiers, and men who will never make good soldiers. In my view, what matters more is proper training, positive values and a strong conviction.

The concern that women POWs may be raped by their captors is another reason why women have been excluded from combat roles. This concern is misplaced for women who opt for such roles are aware that the possibility is a job hazard no more repulsive than torture or other forms of abuse. Just as the possibility of being sodomized by the enemy does not bring about the exclusion of males from combat, likewise the possibility of being raped should not prevent women from being given such a role. In any case, this is strictly a matter for the individual woman to think about. Society need not be involved in the decision which only she alone can make.

It has also been argued that male machismo is such that men would rather fight to the death than surrender to women soldiers thereby prolonging combat and increasing casualties. This is another myth based on naive stereotyping. This was the same reason for the previous exclusion of women from law enforcement jobs in the United States. There is no evidence to show that male criminals are less willing to submit to female police officers than they would to male police officers. This myth was laid to rest during the Gulf War where battle-hardened Iraqi troops frequently surrendered to U.S. servicewomen.

Women have been admitted into most if not all armed forces but in most cases they are employed in non-combat and combat support roles. It is easy to see that women would have difficulty advancing to higher ranks if they are not permitted a share of combat roles. In other words, women would not achieve complete equality unless they are given equal opportunities and responsibilities. In some armed forces, there is an institutional disrespect for women soldiers. Consider for instance the notorious Tailhook incident in 1991 where twenty-six women naval officers were manhandled, groped, and abused by their male counterparts after a convention held at a Las Vegas hotel. This lack of respect for servicewomen will not change unless they h

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby manjgu » 25 Jun 2008 15:34

I dont understand why is having women in combat seen as the litmus test for gender equality ?? I mean there are hazar positions in the army apart from combat roles for which we dont find good men.. so why not find good women officers for that?? horses for courses ??

why this fetish for sending women into combat and discussing it endlessly?

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby RayC » 27 Jun 2008 09:11

There is one practical problem.

One has to ensure that when the husband (taking that he is also an officer) is posted to a station, his wife (if an officer) has to be posted to the same station.

As it is posting is a huge hassle to fit all the criteria. Having to do it for two people, is actually a nightmare.

If there is any lapse, then there is huge belllyaching and it leads to low morale!

Women in the military is a debate that is on, even in countries that have a long experience of having women in the military and possibly that is why this thread.

Some ongoing comments are at:
http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/staff-college/42548-women-combat-compendium.html

Check this out:

http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.ar ... PUB830.pdf

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby rocky » 27 Jun 2008 10:57

Ray, what do you think about employing women in the airforce as fighter pilot and in combat roles in the navy? Already the airforce employs women in helicopter pilot roles, so I don't see why it cannot be extended to fighter pilot roles.

Also, women could serve in the Navy since the conditions on the ships are much better than the Army faces. But the USN has had some torrid time with women in the Navy.

I'm trying to find a solution to the manpower problem afflicting the forces, and I agree that employing women in the army in combat roles is much more complicated. However the airforce and navy might be a bit easier.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby manjgu » 27 Jun 2008 12:22

rocky tell me very honestly would you like your sister/wife to be a fighter pilot getting shot down in Paki territory and being captured... and pl dont say u dont have a sis.. or that your wife does not like flying.

this is not a trick question.. just a hypothetical question..

why not have more transport / chopper pilots ( though the risk is there it is much reduced...) , why this insistence of combat combat( the holy grail of gender equality.. the last frontier) lets have more aeronatutical enginners .... tpt / hptr pilots...

there are many aspects to the problem of manpower shortage .. been discussed to death here... let me tell u even girls like money..

U know there was this debate wether women should leave their jobs after marriage to take care of babies and why cant men leave their jobs to take care of the babies. and career for women bla bla.. so somebody said then u will expect the men to breast feed the babies when they cry during the day while the wifes are attending some important board meeting??

I dont know if you are married ..but ask those who are and have little children.. the man often sleeps through the night while the wife/mother is taking care of the baby.. changing nappies... becasue the psychological make up is different. nurturing / caring instincts are intrinsic to women.

i would say men and women are made up differntly and they have their strength /weakness.. lets try to identify these and make most use of it. lets do what is right and feasible under our conditions...

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby RayC » 27 Jun 2008 19:09

I would not be able to comment on the other services since I would not know the practical problems that they face.

I don't think anyone is against women being in the forces or even in the combat arms. It is the practical problems that have to be taken into consideration.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby rocky » 27 Jun 2008 19:50

I agree manjgu that it's not as straightforward as it sounds. And I have nothing against women joining any other professions. For one I believe that gender equality is a pile of crap; don't ever expect me to get pregnant.

However, the fighter pilot manpower problem is quite acute in the IAF right now. And since the IAF has already been operating helicopter and transport squadrons with women pilots, I felt that there may be a shorter gap to bridge in this case. But I may have overlooked something very crucial here.

And I don't have a sister and I don't have a wife; but I don't know whether the woman getting shot down and caught in terroristan is any worse than a man getting shot down and caught in terroristan.

All I am saying is that we tend to directly exclude 500 million Indians out of certain services where manpower shortage is really acute. On the other hand, I guess if the other 500 million isn't enough to fill the airforce then the 500 million women won't be enough either.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Kakkaji » 27 Jun 2008 21:00

rocky wrote:All I am saying is that we tend to directly exclude 500 million Indians out of certain services where manpower shortage is really acute. On the other hand, I guess if the other 500 million isn't enough to fill the airforce then the 500 million women won't be enough either.


If the services are not able to fill their vacancies (which run into a few thousands) from among a pool of 500 million, then they will not be able to fill their vacancies with a pool of one billion either.

Specifically, for fighter pilots, the IAF's shortfall is probably a few hundred fighter pilots. Once again, if they cannot recruit, train, and keep a few hundred more fighter pilots from a pool of 500 million, they will not be able to do so from a pool of one billion.

Come to think of it, 500 million is more than the population of any other country in the world except China. Some of these countries have been able to recruit, train and keep more fighter pilots than the IAF.

The reasons for shortage of numbers in the combat arms of Indian military are many. IMHO the barring of combat arms to women is not among the significant ones. Therefore, the moral and social issues aside, the opening of combat arms to women is not going to solve the shortage of officers problem.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Ved » 28 Jun 2008 07:32

Women would be as good as men in the fighter cockpit, in terms of ability. However, and I've said this before on this forum, one good reason why we cannot afford to have women as fighter pilots is that they would not be able to withstand 'G' forces during their menstrual periods - under G, your weight/inertia and that of the blood increases upto 9-10 times. We cant afford to keep our fighter pilots on the ground 1 week every month. Quoting other AFs is not relevant - India can't afford it! Capability wise, though, they would be as good as anyone else.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Kati » 28 Jun 2008 08:09

Before we talk about "dos" and "don't dos" for women in combat, we need to hear
what the women think on this issue. As a first step, we need to have more women
participants on this BRF. Their lack of participation often skews opinion here very
much. Sheer lack of women participation here shows something about the indian
way of doing things. Pass this info to your women friends, colleagues, relatives
who can add valuable opinion not only on "women in combat" but also on other
burning issues. Women often bring unique perspectives on many issues which men
tend to overlook.
Cheers.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby shiv » 28 Jun 2008 08:34

actually kati - at least one lady did participate in this thread. her views can be found in the old avatar of this thread which used to be in the archives. It gone now AFAICT - so much for the utility of our half hearted archives.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Kati » 28 Jun 2008 10:17

Shiv saar, was it 'gayatri' you are talking about?
Anyway, we need to have more indian women participate
in BRF discussions. Thanks.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Shankar » 28 Jun 2008 14:17

The First Women Pilots in the Brazilian Air Force
Maj Marco Antonio Cuin, Brazilian Air Force

Lt Alexandre Pereira Reynaldo, Brazilian Air Force*
The year 2004 presented an opportunity to lift the veil of skepticism present in the minds of some people and to demonstrate, in practice, the skills of Brazilian women. Something previously unthinkable and dismissed out of hand was about to happen. The first women aviation cadets began military flying, giving rise to concerns shared by military and civilian society alike and spurring considerable media attention and questions. How well would the women do? How would they react, comport themselves, perform, relate to instructors, and resist fatigue? Would their menstrual cycles cause problems? Would these and other aspects manifest themselves as they had in other air forces? A number of questions, motivated by a lack of knowledge and by the pioneering nature of women pilots in the Brazilian air force, would become clear only in the light of actual experience.
As the date to begin flight training approached, some cadets decided not to continue. Three women declared themselves unsuited to military life and requested discharge, leaving 17 warriors to begin flight training. As always occurs in such a course, wherein trainees must complete various phases with a high degree of proficiency, some of the cadets (including men) encountered difficulties, eliminating them from the program. Thus, 12 female cadets finished that stage. Among those, one requested discharge after having completed all the flight-training phases conducted by the 2nd Air Training Squadron. As of this writing, the remaining 11 should graduate from the Brazilian Air Force Academy at the end of 2006.
It is important to emphasize the degree of dedication these aviation cadets demonstrated in all the tasks that confronted them. Militarily, they distinguished themselves by their discipline and zealous personal demeanor. Academically, they achieved significant results—witness the high class ranking that most of them achieved. Consequently, the performance of these brave women is gradually dispelling any lingering myths and questions as well as favorably affecting people’s expectations of them.
The Brazilian air force intends to use these new aviators to help maintain its combat capability and will treat them the same as their male counterparts. The gradual, deliberate rise of this new component of our operational combat arm will facilitate its successful integration into the current career landscape, historically dominated by men. We must always bear in mind that Brazilian air force members must be imbued with the proper attributes to fulfill their duties, particularly the defense of our airspace and the sovereignty of our nation. Brazil can rest assured that leadership and esprit de corps, combined with the traits of courage, altruism, tenacity, determination, perseverance, and other virtues inherent in good warriors, are deeply ingrained in each woman aviator.




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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Ved » 29 Jun 2008 07:46

Shankar wrote:
The First Women Pilots in the Brazilian Air Force
.......


.... similar to the IAF's experience, where, as we know, they have been flying for a number of years.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby HariC » 16 Jul 2008 01:47

My seniors tortured me, claims lady officer

July 15, 2008 17:43 IST


A captain in the army, posted in Haryana, on Tuesday alleged that she was 'physically and mentally tortured' by her superior officers -- a charge denied by the army.

"Ever since I was posted at Army Service Corps battalion in Kalka (Haryana) in October 2007, three of my officers started physically and mentally torturing me," the officer, who made a written complaint to the army authorities on July 13, alleged.

The captain, who is unmarried, told PTI: "On occasions, my parents and sister used to come and live with me (in Kalka). This irked the three officers, who always forced me to throw them out. If I did not pay heed to them, I was sent on duties to far off places which anyone can check (as these are) on record."

She claimed that the three officers were 'in league with each other. All three harassed me mentally and physically'.

The officer also alleged that she had been put under 'house arrest'.

When contacted, an army spokesman denied the allegations made by the captain and said an officer of the rank of a major general had reached Kalka to look into the issue.

He said that she had earlier been asked to lead a convoy to Pathankot, but she refused giving 'some lame excuses' to avoid the duty. The spokesman added that on another occasion, she had refused a task stating that she had to prepare for some examination.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby HariC » 16 Jul 2008 19:50

Captain alleges harassment, Army cites ‘mental weakness’
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
A woman Army officer posted at Kalka, near here, has complained of physical and mental harassment at the hands of three senior officers of her unit. The Army, on the other hand, has denied the allegations.

Captain Poonam Kaur, who has been in the Army for three years and is serving with an ASC battalion at Kalka since October, has blamed the battalion’s commanding officer, the second-in-command and the adjutant for harassing her.

She has also alleged that she has been placed under house arrest in her quarters and is not being allowed to move out. Her mother, Hardev Kaur, who reached Kalka from Jalandhar claimed that she and her son were forced by the Army to leave her daughter’s house this morning.

On July 13, she had put in a request for a personal interview with the major general heading the Army Service Corps branch at Headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir, to highlight her grievances.

A spokesperson for Western Command said that on June 30, the officer was ordered to move to Pathankot for commanding one of the detachments of the unit located there. Citing personal reasons, she requested that her move be delayed till July 11.

Again when she was instructed to move on July 11, she requested that she be permitted to leave on July 12. However, on July 12 Capt Poonam refused to move to Pathankot, thereby disobeying legitimate orders.

While denying that the officer had been placed under house arrest, the spokesperson said that her request for interview with the major general was granted, but when she was asked to give her grievance in writing, she refused and returned to her unit.

The major general visited the battalion at Kalka today to meet the Commanding Officer and Captain Poonam, but she refused to come out of her quarters. Captain Poonam claimed that she was alone at that time and under intense pressure and wanted to meet the senior officer only in the presence of her relatives. Her mother claimed that it was only after the major general left that she was allowed to return to her daughter’s house.

The spokesperson claimed that during her last posting at Misamari in Assam, Captain Poonam had indulged in similar activities. She had refused to carry out her assigned duties and when questioned had alleged “mental harassment”. These were inquired into and disciplinary action was contemplated. Keeping in view her young age and the pleadings of her mother, she was let off. However her "mental weakness" was recorded in her profile.

There have been several complaints from women officers of sexual harassment. Recently, Capt Neha Rawat had raised allegations against a major general in Leh, who is now facing a court martial.

An officer in the Judge Advocate General’s department, now posted in Chandimandir, had blamed her immediate superior on similar grounds. Two officers, including the commanding officer of a unit in Jalandhar, faced court martial after a woman officer from the same unit alleged sexual assault.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby RayC » 17 Jul 2008 07:43

If she is not ready to do convoy duties, which all officers of the ASC Battalion or Transport Companies have to do, then what is she doing in the Army?

There is no question of negotiating the date when one will perform the duty. The Army is no civilian organisation with trade union facilities. Just imagine, for this person, all the others who are on convoy duty will have to adjust their lives!!

If you are unmarried, you can't treat the unit as a dharmasala and have your family treating it as a timeshare resort!

I am also surprised that an unmarried officer has been allotted a house and does not live in the Officers' Mess!

When will these wonders cease!

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Shankar » 17 Jul 2008 16:25

while we keep on trashing women in our armed forces -USAF just have their first F-22 pilot a captain and a lady . You think ameriacn women are not women enough to face the prospects of being shot down and face torture and rape

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby HariC » 17 Jul 2008 20:06

Shankar wrote:while we keep on trashing women in our armed forces -USAF just have their first F-22 pilot a captain and a lady . You think ameriacn women are not women enough to face the prospects of being shot down and face torture and rape



who trashed women in our armed forces? Can you elaborate more or be specific?

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby RayC » 17 Jul 2008 23:56

Shankar wrote:while we keep on trashing women in our armed forces -USAF just have their first F-22 pilot a captain and a lady . You think ameriacn women are not women enough to face the prospects of being shot down and face torture and rape


No one is trashing women.

As far the allegory to the US is concerned, one should not forget the culture and mindset.

In this particular case, this officer has taken advantage of being a woman and has done things that a man would have been immediately sorted out without that much of a rope given to this woman officer and it would have not even got a line in the media.

Imagine being given a house to live as an unmarried person, when family accommodation is already in acute shortage. She must have spun some coc.k and bull story and got this dispensation, just because she is a woman and unmarried!

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby saip » 18 Jul 2008 01:24

I dont understand how the mother got involved in this. The Capt Kaur is an adult and should have been able to handle her affairs herself. If what is reported is true, she needs psychiatric help.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby RayC » 18 Jul 2008 12:50

saip wrote:I dont understand how the mother got involved in this. The Capt Kaur is an adult and should have been able to handle her affairs herself. If what is reported is true, she needs psychiatric help.


Mother has been involved because the Army is dead scared, it appears, that if a woman howls, the world shall shake since the media and politicians like Renuka Chowdhury will have a field day and make everyone's life hell!

Like in We the People programme on the Aroshi case, she lambasted the police, but weaselled her way out on the issue that the politicians are not ready to do the Police Reform wherein the Police would not be in the clutches of the politicians!

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Mandeep » 19 Jul 2008 14:20

The case of Capt Poonam Kaur appears to be a classic case of the media blowing up the matter without giving much thought to anything at all.
The Capt has accused the CO, 2IC and Adjt of her unit of harassment and misconduct. She denied that she had accused them of sexual harassment.What, all three of them were in league to harass her ?
She was sent on temporary duty to Pathankot. How does that imply harassment ? Duty is duty, if you can't do it simply leave the Army.
Her mother alleged that there was bungling going on in the unit, when the Capt refused to take part she was harassed.No details are forthcoming of course.As always just the implied slur is enough for our media people.
She was accorded an interview with the MGASC, the head of her Corps in Western Command, but failed to convince him that she was being harassed and even refused to give anything in writing which could form the basis of an enquiry. Of course she had no problem contacting the media and giving her side of the story.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby RayC » 20 Jul 2008 22:29

The media and these type of women officers are what is eroding the office of the CO, who, when dealing with women adapt PC like politicians.

I am surprised that just because this officer was a woman she got married quarters even though unmarried!!

If such gutless COs are today's superior officers, then why should not the IA standards deteriorate?

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby yogi » 06 Aug 2008 02:37

Soon, NDA may open doors to women cadets

NEW DELHI: They may still not be allowed to fly fighter jets, serve on warships or join the infantry, but they are now within striking distance of storming another male bastion in the armed forces - permanent commission as officers.

All the three Services have "in principle" accepted the proposal for granting permanent commission to women officers, who at present can serve a maximum of 14 years in uniform, IAF chief of personnel, Air Marshal Sumit Mukerji, said on Tuesday.

"The debate is now over which non-combatant branches or arms women can get permanent commission in. The chiefs of staff committee (comprising army, navy and IAF chiefs) will take a final decision on this within a month or two. Defense Minister A K Antony is keen on it," he added.

But while "combat roles" will remain beyond the pale, women might even be allowed to join the elite tri-service National Defence Academy (NDA) at Kadakwasla in "an open competition" right after school.

The proposal to grant permanent commission to women officers has received the nod from all the three Services. Women might also be allowed to join National Defence Academy (NDA). Opening the doors of NDA for women for a three-year course will certainly be a revolutionary step. At present, they join military institutions like Officers' Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai for a 49-week course after college graduation.

"Once permanent commission for women is decided, modalities about training at military academies will be worked out. It will be an open competition... there will be no reservation or quotas. In theory, an entire NDA batch could be of women," said Mukerji.
In effect, the first lot of permanent commission woman officers through the NDA route could conceivably join the forces by 2013 after four years of training, on par with their male counterparts in every respect.

This, of course, will require a tremendous attitudinal change in the predominantly male environs of the armed forces, where induction of women officers since the early-1990s — according to many among the top brass — has led to "operational, practical and cultural problems".

But with Antony keen that the "commitment" he gave to Parliament on granting permanent commission to women officers be "honoured" as soon as possible, the forces are working towards the objective, albeit reluctantly.

This can be gauged from the fact that the army plans to induct permanent commission women only into Army Education Corps and Judge Advocate General as of now since they do not "involve command and control of men", apart from "any special expertise" other than degrees in law or education. At present, women constitute barely 2.5% to 7% of the officer cadre, serving in wings like engineering, ordnance, intelligence, signals, education, law, logistics and air traffic control. In IAF, they also fly helicopters and transport aircraft.

Overall, there are just about 1,100 women officers in the army out of a total of 35,377; 750 women out of 10,760 officers in IAF and 300 women out of 7,394 officers in navy. Personnel below the officer rank comprise only men. There is now grudging acceptance that the armed forces will have to change with the changing times.

"There were cultural adjustments needed when women were first inducted. But women have not been found to be unsuitable in anyway. I am sure even women fighter pilots will be a reality in the future," said Mukerji, who has been a top-notch fighter pilot. But even though air forces of US, UK, Israel, Sweden and others allow women fighter pilots, there is no such plan here at present. After spending close to Rs 10 crore on training each fighter pilot, IAF is keen to ensure fighter-flying schedules are not disrupted, which it feels is inevitable after a woman pilot gets married and has children.

The Indian defence establishment has, in fact, used the logic of "combat employability and permanent commission being interlinked" to keep women out till now.

They can learn a lesson or two from other militaries. While countries like Canada, Denmark, Norway, Portugal and Luxembourg have no combat exclusion policies for women, in the UK and the US, they can serve virtually in all wings but are generally not allowed in direct ground combat missions. Women in Israel are even assigned to frontline combat units, but it's voluntary.

But India, feel the forces, is not ready for this. "There are physical toughness, physiological and practical issues. Can women be deployed in bunkers along the LoC or chase terrorists? Can you imagine a woman in the hands of an enemy or a terrorist? Our society is simply not ready for it," said a senior officer.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby RayC » 08 Aug 2008 02:19

Hopefully with same physical standards as for males!

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Baljeet » 08 Aug 2008 02:38

These kind of articles come every few months, recycling old information. There is nothing new in them. Indian security environment is different from luxembourg, portugal, sweden etc with the exception of US. After Jessica Lynch Fiasco and few other who got blown up by IED's female soldiers--don't think are going out on patrol. Haven't seen any in Afghanistan.
As in case of India we are fighting neigborly terrorists, Maoists terrorists, SIMI and others. Law enforcement and combat are two completely different beasts. Former or current Military officers can shed more light on this.
It seems to me these psuedo feminists or intellectuals have been reading gloria steinem way too much.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby shiv » 08 Aug 2008 07:29

Going through some of the links off this thread show that life is no cakewalk for women in the US armed forces. To use the analogy I read in a link off here a US woman soldier either has to be a bitch or a whore to survive. if she is neither - her life is likely to be miserable.

Women do have a role in the armed forces of today, but to would be a mistake to ignore biology and try and impose the same role for women as men.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Brando » 08 Aug 2008 08:03

Shankar wrote:while we keep on trashing women in our armed forces -USAF just have their first F-22 pilot a captain and a lady . You think ameriacn women are not women enough to face the prospects of being shot down and face torture and rape


Do you remember the fuss they made when that Cpl. Jessica Lynch was captured by IRaqis during the invasion ? Not to mention all the women who were blown to peices in IED explosives etc? Then we have that woman prison guard from Abu Garib who was court marshaled for playing with her prisoners privates.

There are all kinds of women in the USA, they do not observe the kind of culture and decorum that our culture expects from us. With a population of only 300 odd million and a military of over 1 million troops, they would need the active participation of women to keep their numbers up also. India with a population of 1 billion and a military of only 1 million odd dont have that compulsion .

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Brando » 08 Aug 2008 08:08

yogi wrote:Soon, NDA may open doors to women cadets

NEW DELHI: They may still not be allowed to fly fighter jets, serve on warships or join the infantry, but they are now within striking distance of storming another male bastion in the armed forces - permanent commission as officers.

All the three Services have "in principle" accepted the proposal for granting permanent commission to women officers, who at present can serve a maximum of 14 years in uniform, IAF chief of personnel, Air Marshal Sumit Mukerji, said on Tuesday.

"The debate is now over which non-combatant branches or arms women can get permanent commission in. The chiefs of staff committee (comprising army, navy and IAF chiefs) will take a final decision on this within a month or two. Defense Minister A K Antony is keen on it," he added.

But while "combat roles" will remain beyond the pale, women might even be allowed to join the elite tri-service National Defence Academy (NDA) at Kadakwasla in "an open competition" right after school.


All I will say is good luck to them. As it is, the acceptance rate is somewhere below 10%, with women, the competition will increase and the probability of woman officers will not be large enough to notice.

Another thing with the NDA exams is apart from the written portions, many of the disqualifications in the other parts are pretty arbitrary and they offer little explanation.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby RayC » 08 Aug 2008 12:54

Another thing with the NDA exams is apart from the written portions, many of the disqualifications in the other parts are pretty arbitrary and they offer little explanation.
.


Could you elaborate?

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Rahul M » 08 Aug 2008 13:04

shiv wrote:Going through some of the links off this thread show that life is no cakewalk for women in the US armed forces. To use the analogy I read in a link off here a US woman soldier either has to be a bitch or a whore to survive. if she is neither - her life is likely to be miserable.

Women do have a role in the armed forces of today, but to would be a mistake to ignore biology and try and impose the same role for women as men.

shiv ji, the point is US army takes in women even in the NCO/JCO ranks, IA doesn't.
being in officer ranks, women probably wouldn't have to be in either category to survive in IA>

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby RayC » 08 Aug 2008 13:15

shiv wrote:Going through some of the links off this thread show that life is no cakewalk for women in the US armed forces. To use the analogy I read in a link off here a US woman soldier either has to be a bitch or a whore to survive. if she is neither - her life is likely to be miserable.

Women do have a role in the armed forces of today, but to would be a mistake to ignore biology and try and impose the same role for women as men.


Imagine how biological requirement sometime met by weird ways.

It is not BSF alone. It is prevalent in any organisation which has one sex society, be it schools or any other organisations!

I wonder if people read about the BSF incident where recruits from Bihar ran away and alleged sodomy.

If sodomy can be done, depraved people can also indulge in acceptable sex through coercion!

I would hate to have these issues taking up my precious time, if I were a CO, that I should give to operational issues!

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Lalmohan » 25 Sep 2008 19:01

some interesting input from British forces on this topic

Girls on the Afghan front line

many of the arguements we've been through here are repeated - but it seems to boil down to overall societal acceptance of women's roles

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby sanjaychoudhry » 26 Sep 2008 02:51

A SPECIAL FORCE - Patriots from another land

Women against the Raj: The Rani of Jhansi Regiment By Joyce Chapman Lebra, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Price not mentioned

Buried in the historical, sociological and political information of Joyce Lebra’s readable book is the fascinating tale of four obscure, but indomitable, women who might be called non-resident Indians. But unlike today’s NRIs, Meenachi Perumal, Ammaloo, Anjalai Ponnusamy and Muniammah Rengasamy, girls from Malaya’s rubber plantations, gave without seeking any return when they joined the Indian National Army as teenagers to fight for a motherland they had never seen.

The Netaji legend has been done to death but in spite of the many books, including Lakshmi Sahgal’s A Revolutionary Life: Memoirs of a Political Activist, not enough is known about the simpler girls who rallied to Subhas Chandra Bose in Malaya and Burma. If only result legitimizes work, these Ranis, as Rani of Jhansi Regiment soldiers were called, did not achieve much. But their determination “to die for India” (quoting Rasammah Bhupalan, another local recruit) continued the Indian tradition of female service and sacrifice that is Lebra’s underpinning theme. She says Bose’s choice of name for the regiment was a conscious attempt to exalt “the ideology of the Cosmic Mother, of India as Mother, Bharat Mata”. Citing revolutionaries like Kalpana Dutt and Bina Das, Lebra argues that “the ideological, literary, and religious incarnations of the Mother reached their most complex and distinctive expressions” in Bengal where they also inspired political activity.

Not that she depicts Bose as an obsessive Bengali. On the contrary, when a woman recruit replied in Bengali to his question in English, Bose retorted angrily, “I don’t understand you. What makes you think you’re so special or I’m so special because we are Bengalis?… Remember this: I’m Indian first, I’m Indian second, I’m Indian third, I’m Indian every time. I’m always just Indian.” Rasammah, who told Lebra the story, “has refused to live in India after partition. ‘This is not the India we fought for,’ she says.”

Such vignettes make Lebra’s slim volume special, and it’s a pity there aren’t more. In fact, the first five chapters, 59 out of 108 pages (excluding an epilogue in which P. Ramasamy, an Indian Malaysian academic, argues that the INA encouraged post-war anti-British political activity) racily summarize history without any surprises for readers in India. Moreover, they are marred by printer’s devils and errors of fact. Far from being killed like the English in Kanpur in 1857, inmates of the Lucknow Residency were famously rescued in what became a stirring legend of British Indian history. Sri Aurobindo did not become “prominent” as “founder of Auroville”. Auroville was inaugurated 18 years after his death. Sri Aurobindo’s philosophical writings brought him renown.

Though she taught Indian history at Colorado University, India in general is definitely not Lebra’s forte. Where she scores is in tracking down the four surviving Ranis who greeted her with “Jai Hind!” and the INA’s raised-fist salute, saying they were ready to fight again. Muniammah, a tapper’s daughter who attended a Tamil estate school for five years, was only 13 when she insisted on enlisting. “The only thing on our minds was freeing India from the British. We were willing to give our lives to the cause.” A photograph by the author shows the aged, but cheerful, Muniammah saluting in her wartime cap.

Interviewing them in their homes through an interpreter must have been an arduous task for Lebra, who is of almost the same vintage. But she was already familiar with the subject, having written about Rani Lakshmibai’s exploits and INA-Japan relations. Used to wartime “comfort women”, the Japanese did not take the Ranis seriously. But Aung San, Burma’s charismatic nationalist leader who was murdered after independence, was so impressed that he asked Bose to raise a similar regiment of Burmese women. These Ranis were young, of humble origins and unlettered but they enjoyed an advantage over British Indian soldiers who escaped the brutality of Japanese PoW camps by joining Bose. As Lebra says, “from the Japanese perspective, the INA was tainted from the start” because “surrender did not exist in Japanese military rhetoric or practice”. In contrast, the Ranis fought because, to cite Promita Pal, “the sacrifice of our lives will reduce the whole of the British empire to ashes”.

Even the suggestion that most Malayan recruits were “the lowest of the low” and joined up to escape “racial slurs” and “the silent contempt in which they were held by Chinese and Malays” cannot flaw Meenachi’s heroism in volunteering for the Jan Baz “suicide unit”. The end was an anti-climax for girls who happily rose at dawn for gruelling training, marched with a rifle, tramped the Burmese jungle and refused to salute Japan’s flag because the Japanese did not salute India’s. As Muniammah lamented, “Our turn to fight never came; we had to retreat in 1944 by train.” One Rani tried to commit suicide rather than go back. Others signed a petition in their own blood begging to be sent into combat. It was not that they saw no action. Their camp was bombed right at the start, and Josephine and Stella were killed when their retreating train was attacked.

Bose saw his girl soldiers as symbolic of Lakshmibai. Just as the INA created a model of equality and harmony, the discipline and organization of the Ranis set an example of female empowerment. Or would if India had taken greater notice of humble Indian Malayan women who fought for a distant and virtually unknown motherland. Meenachi, Ammaloo, Anjalai and Muniammah may not be the only survivors. If India will not, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, which sponsored Lebra, should commission a Tamil-speaking researcher to track down other forgotten INA survivors in the region for a more focussed chronicle of diasporic patriotism.

www.telegraphindia.com/1080926/jsp/opin ... 885874.jsp

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Jagan » 26 Sep 2008 04:13

thanks for posting that - looked up to see if a copy was available but

OUCH @ Amazon :eek: and again


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