One Thousand Steps Forward

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In a huge victory for women in the Indian Army and gender equality, the Indian Supreme Court recently passed a landmark judgment declaring that women can be awarded permanent commissions in the Indian Army.

What does this mean? A permanent commission (or PC) in the army will allow women to receive bigger promotions, a higher salary, pensions upon retirement and the opportunity to command entire battalions and even head the Army Intelligence Division!

Weren’t they treated equally to other men serving the army? No! Until the Supreme Court decision, which was passed on February 17th, 2020, women in the Indian Army were only enlisted on short service commissions which allowed them to serve for a maximum of 10-14 years only. These short service commissions also prevented them from getting a lot of benefits and advantages that come with a permanent commission. Women were not allowed to receive the same promotions as men, were not allowed to be in charge of divisions and were not entitled to receive pension payments either.

Those arguing against permanent commissions for women said that because women have to deal with having babies and managing their homes and families, they were not physically or mentally suitable for senior positions or positions of authority in the Army. These arguments come from an old-school mentality and they do not hold true today.

Luckily, the Supreme Court was able to see this clearly and to see the merit in the arguments of those fighting for the rights of women in the Army and therefore passed their ruling in favour of granting permanent commissions saying that it was time to bring about a change in the Indian Armed Forces.


Written by: Disha Mirchandani. Disha is a former lawyer turned freelance content writer. She is a fitness enthusiast and amateur aerialist with her own fitness photo-blog as well.

 

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