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  • She Says

Priya Ravichandran: Successful Induction of Women in Combat Roles in Just 8 Steps

  • IWB Post
  •  June 15, 2015

It is a matter of pride seeing women serving the country by getting into the military forces these days. But having them in combat positions is still an issue. Priya Ravichandran, writer at HuffPost India, says:

“The increase in diversity within the organizations will mean greater capacity to handle various kinds of work and address staff shortages in critical areas. The soft power display and the signaling effect of having men and women serving side by side, be it in the frontline or otherwise will be immense. More than anything, it will ensure that one of the largest employers in the country is establishing itself as a modern, equal opportunity based organization.”

Well, she makes valid points.

Priya suggests 8 ways in which our country can ensure the induction of women in combat roles.

  1. The government has to remove all barriers that prevent women from getting permanent commissions in every branch of the military, including combat operations.
  2. Increase sensitization programs and effective grievance redressal mechanisms to ensure a comfortable transition and lower attrition rates.
  3. Joint efforts on part of the government and the military to figure out how forces were integrated in other countries will help us better understand our own requirements.
  4. Figuring out how to recruit smarter, better and stronger women and creating conditions at high school and college levels that encourage women to consider service as a career option. Liberalization and increasing visibility of women should help the forces better in finding out the right person for the job from a much larger pool.
  5. Strong support system in the form of mentors and counselors.
  6. Methodically figuring out how and where the combat integration can be done.
  7. The Central Reserve Police Force has women in anti-Maoist combat operations. This includes at least 3 all women battalions. The Indo Tibetan Border Police and Border Security Patrol also employ women for the frontlines including the Indo-Pak frontline. Studies can be undertaken to see what works, what doesn’t and how to replicate it in military conditions.
  8. Ensuring that a sustained multi level effort continues for an acceptable period of time. Integrating women into US combat has not given very desirable results, but it has also shown that there are women eager to take part and push themselves to train at levels that were always considered impossible. Part of the exercise also requires the armed forces to challenge existing norms of warfare.

Aren’t these suggestions powerful?

As Priya puts it:

“Allowing women to sign up for combat operations does not necessarily mean that there will be deluge of women signing up. Cultural and fitness issues will remain. Part of catching up with new century and an increasingly modern warfare means figuring out ways to handle the elephant in the room. It’s been 88 years since the first woman signed up to serve in the military; it’s time we push them to serve in it wholly and substantially.”


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