“Grant permanent commission to women in more branches”

A parliamentary panel has slammed the Defence Ministry for its “negative” approach in treating women officers in the three services as a “time gap'' arrangement to meet the shortage of male officers.

The committee also pulled up the Ministry for the “discriminative'' policies in granting permanent commission to women and accused it of turning a blind eye to recommendations on inducting more women in armed forces.

“We fail to understand the negativism when it comes to employing more women in the armed forces and reiterate their earlier recommendation to enhance intake of women in various branches of armed forces,'' the Committee on Empowerment of Women said in its report on “Women in Armed Forces'' tabled in Parliament on Friday. On its recommendation of opening more branches for permanent commission to women, the committee said, “The Defence Ministry has turned a blind eye to this recommendation by sticking to their earlier stand that women officers would be considered only in specific branches.''

The report said the committee's suggestions to explore the possibility of having more women officers in branches such as the Military Police, Army Postal Service and General Service have been dismissed with a grim reply by the Ministry.

“It is extremely disturbing to note that the Ministry has not even bothered to try even exploring a single other option for women officers and instead relied heavily on the existing discriminative policies,'' it said.

The committee objected to the way women officers were being used as a time gap arrangement to compensate for the shortage of male officers without showing an iota of concern for their future.

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