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Women Are Great Sailors Too, Says SC, Giving Them Permanent Commission In The Navy

Posted: March 18, 2020

After Indian Army, the Navy, too, opened its doors for women. On Tuesday, SC announced women officers can sail as efficiently as men. 

Right now, a lot of things happening around the world are making life seem extremely bleak. However, on Tuesday, the Supreme Court of India gave us a reason to celebrate a little and hope for better things in the future.

The Supreme Court came out strongly for women in the Indian Navy on Tuesday, NDTV reported. “Women officers can sail as effectively as male officers,” was announced by the Apex Court. It also further stated denying permanent commission to lady officers who have served the nation will result in a serious ‘miscarriage of justice.’

Women are as efficient sailors as men 

The court gave out the judgement on the statutory bar on women officers inducted before 2008 from being given permanent commission in the navy. And very strictly commented that the government cannot discriminate between men and women. 

“They (women) can sail with the same efficiency as male officers,” said the bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachur and also had Justice Ajay Rastogi. The division bench also rejected the Centre’s discriminatory stand that sea sailing duties cannot be granted to Short Service Commission (SSC) women officers in the Navy. All because the Navy’s Russian vessels do not have washrooms for them.

The court said that it wasn’t right to deprive serving women officers of the opportunity to work as equals with men. So, not providing them with a permanent commission in the Indian Navy is “plainly discriminatory.”

It also observed that to assume that women officers are ill-suited to certain avocations which involve them bring abroad ships is not just to their dedication and talent. Both men and women officers have an equal worth of the and equally dedicate their lives to serving in the cause of the nation.

The apex court stated that an equal opportunity to women officers ensures that many other women get the opportunity to overcome their histories of discrimination. By making professions non-gendered and based on competence, ability and performance, we can curb discrimination. 

A new gateway for women 

This order comes as a very bright judgement for women. Now permanent commission officers can serve in the Navy till they retire, unlike SSC officers, who generally are women. An SSC can serve for ten years and can be extend their service by four more years, or serve a total of 14 years.

In February, 2020, in a similar judgment, the apex court granted a permanent commission to women officers in the Indian Army at par with male officers, including a command posting. Both these orders have opened a new gateway for women and have made professions less gendered and more competence based. 

Even the Supreme Court, now, has agreed that to make assumptions on women’s abilities, their role and achievements in the army ‘is an insult not only to women but also to the Indian Army.’

So high time that the society understands no job is meant for men or women. Instead professions are driven by passion and dedication and these qualities are not defined by one’s gender.

Picture credits: Indian Naval Website

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