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Supreme Court Rules Against Centre: Women Can Now Hold Command Posts In Indian Army

Posted: February 18, 2020

Indian women officers in the army can now be given permanent commission and hold command posts, says a recent SC ruling, which overturns a sexist directive by the Centre.

On February 6, the Centre gave an appeal to the Supreme Court which stated that women officers cannot not hold command posts because men in the army are not used to work under women officers. It was stated that as they hail from rural communities it would be difficult for the male members to work under the command of a woman.

This is highly sexist and it paves way for sexism to prevail in the armed forces.

Centre directive on 6th February 2020

It has been ironic.

Captain Tania Shergill, a woman army officer, led the all-male army contingency on Republic Day Parade this year, and a few days later the Centre sent a directive that opposed giving women officers command posts in the army, stating a plethora of sexist reasons.

One of them was that women prisoners of war are a liability for the army. In a country where a woman led the first freedom movement (read: Rani Lakshmi Bai) it is shocking to see how the Centre thinks that women cannot hold positions of authority.

Supreme Court rules against Centre directive

However, in a welcome and much needed move, the Supreme Court completely criticized this move stating that women officers are now eligible for command posting.

The SC completely turned a blind eye to the Centre’s appeal, and has granted permanent commission in a command position for women officers who opt for it.

This move celebrates the equal humanity of women, trashing the propagation of gender stereotypes where a woman is often pictured waiting at home for the man who does the hard work and all the earning.

“SC says that the contentions of centre, regarding the issue of physiological limitations & social norms to deny an opportunity to women officers is disturbing & can’t be accepted,” tweeted ANI on their Twitter handle.

A win for women officers

“It is an insult to women as well as the army when aspersions are cast on women, their ability and their achievements in the Army,” the Supreme Court verdict said.

The Centre gave permanent commission to women in signals, engineers, army aviation, army air defence, electronics and mechanical engineers, army service corps, army ordinance corps and intelligence. The PC was only given to those women officers who had joined the forces after 2014.

This is a win for women who have been struggling to get past this. This move motivates women to work harder and get further in their careers because now they do not have to take compulsory retirement. They have a full term office to serve and work for. In The Deck at India Habitat Centre (Delhi), we saw a Lieutenant Colonel striding in followed by other Major and other women officers. They wore red and greeted each other by saying that “We have won”. They celebrated by cutting a cake which had a battle tank atop.

Image source: YouTube

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