News Leak Centre

No Fear No Favour

Why can’t we have an all-women combat battalion if male soldiers resist being led by female commanders: Manohar Parikar

Do you have it in you? This proactive line in Indian Army advertisements calling for officers set to join its ranks has ensnared many. Since 1992, when the Army opened its doors to women, their numbers have only grown.


In 1992, 1,803 candidates applied for 50 vacancies. The Army had the luxury of screening 36 applicants for each vacancy. In 2005, the figure shot up to 150 applicants per vacancy. The numbers have seen a steady increase. Ninety-three lady officers enrolled in 2010, 166 the following year. In 22 years, their strength has grown from 50 to 1300.


According to figures provided by the Army, 252 of the 647 women officers either quit or got their release from the service in the last five years. Often, male officers raise the issue of women quitting by saying: it’s a waste of time and money training them because they leave to get married and have children.


Now the question arises that is the male ego going haywire? A lot of cases of the male ego issues have been reported, very famous being that the male officers find it difficult to take orders from the female officers. Even in a conference today, Defense Minister Manohar Parikker said, ”Why can’t we have an all-women combat battalion if male soldiers resist being led by female commanders.” This statement indicates that the government also has an eye on what all is happening in the Indian Army. There is a need to understand the issue in the Indian Army. Is the male ego or is it the favoritism?

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