Women in Combat roles means Female Military Personnel who have been deployed in Front-lines.
Throughout the history all the Combat Armies were predominantly formed by Males. But We have seen individual women in Combat or leadership roles. Rani Lakshmi Bai Led led her Jhansi Army against the British to save the Kingdom from Annexing through Doctrine of Lapse. Boudica was a queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire in AD 60. Caracal Battalion, Israel’s first mixed female and male combat unit, was created in 2000.
In 1st and 2nd world wars many countries used Women in Combat Roles. Russia used a all women combat unit in WW1 and also formed Sniper units, Medical staff. British Army used women in Anti-aircraft warfare. Women widely contributed and were accepted in combat assistance roles because there were no risk of captures.
Ever since the change in War tactics, the role of Women in Typical infantry Units has been dreaded. Especially in guerrilla warfare infested areas. Unconventional tactics form a part of proxy wars where there is no place for Honour or Geneva conventions. Mass rapes, Sexual tortures, Sexual Slaves have become a weapon of war.
In India, there has been a ongoing debate whether to induct women in combat (Read Infantry) roles.
Women have been already serving in service and supporting arms in Army. Wing Commander Pooja Thakur became the first woman to lead the ceremonial Guard of Honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
All-women contingents of air force, army, and navy personnel marched in India’s Republic Day parade.
Women are also being inducted as fighter pilots in Indian air force like Avani Chaturvedi to name one. Women are doing De-mining Ops, Anti-aircraft Warfare, Combat Paramedics ops and Arty warfare.
With the coming of Gen Bipin Rawat’s tenure as Chief of Army Staff, there was hope. Especially With the announcement of inducting women as jawans in military police. But with women as combat officers in Infantry he cited difficulties such as lack of infrastructure and the mindset of Young soldiers who come from Village backgrounds. He went on detail the type of unconventional War India is facing from Pakistan’s side and memorized us with the gruesome tale of Brave Capt. Saurabh Kalia.
We sure have seen progress. After a recent notification of declaring reservation for women in constabulary in paramilitary forces, they can now also be inducted as officers in combat roles in all five Central Armed Police Forces as published by Union Home ministry. Also the Government, vide a order decided to reserve 33% posts at Constable level for being filled up by women in CRPF & CISF to begin with and 14-15% posts at Constable level in border guarding forces i.e. BSF, SSB & ITBP.
This shows how far women have come since 1992. They are working with full capacity and creating history. They have successfully inspired a whole generation of Young women . But there still are challenges like building administrative capabilities, societal change. For that women centric policies need to be in place. According to defense expert Captain Anubha Rathaur -”Women are ready for combat, what they require is training and administrative capabilities”.
We believe that the selection system of the Indian Armed forces is free and fair. More so when our Defence Minister herself is a woman. Meritorious Probies reach the Academies on merit. If the Cadet is fit mentally and physically He/She should be given a chance to lead a company of foot soldiers. Women should be given Combat Roles if they do that at the same conditions like that of Male counterparts. Moreover We should not play with National Security in the name of pseudo empowerment.
Read more here : http://www.premieroutlook.co.in/afspa-in-nagaland/