Role of women in the defense forces and opportunities for them

Role of women in the defense forces and opportunities for them: As we know women have been an important and integral part of our society and have been given a substantial role in society with time. In Ancient times also there have been so many women warriors like Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi.

But when we talk about women in Armed Forces, the numbers are significantly less, Recently, The decision made by the Supreme Court of India has been a very good piece of news for women who have been granted the permanent commission in the army.

In this blog post, we will be discussing everything about the Role of women in the defense forces and the opportunities for them. Also, look at the graph given below to get an overview of the involvement of women in different sectors of the Indian defense forces.

 Percentage of women Officers in Indian Armed Forces

Historical Perspective: Overcoming Barriers and Gaining Recognition

The recognition of women in the Armed Forces began back in 1888 with the formation of the Indian Nursing Military Service. The formation of women’s Armed forces is a very Gradual change and it take years for its formation and establishment. While women have made significant roles, their induction into the Indian Armed Forces began in the 20th century.

The Role of Women in the Indian Armed Forces was recognized during world war 2 with the formation of the Women’s Auxiliary Corps (India) (WAC) in 1942. It has provided combat support roles such as nursing, clerical work, and communication duties. Women Auxillary Corps also helped in British Indian Army during world war 2. However the induction of women under British rule was much favored by the Britishers, but this was not the case in Azad Hind Fauj formed by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bosh.

After India gained Independence from British rule in 1947, the induction of women into the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force started, initially the role of women was limited to Medical services including nursing and medical officers.

In 1992, the Indian Armed Forces allowed the induction of women through the Short Service Commission. Under this Scheme, the women can be commissioned in the Indian Army for a specific period of 5 years but now this period has been extended to 14 years.

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Women’s Role in modern defense forces

In Modern Warfare, the role of defense forces has significantly changed. Initially, it was predominantly male-dominated, but with the advancement of skills and technology, women are equally capable in warfare.

Here are a few important roles of women in defense forces-

  1. Combat Roles: With time Women have been inducted into the defense forces at the frontline borders along with the men because what matters is skill, intelligence, and dedication regardless of gender.
  2. Non-Combat Roles: Along with the Commbat roles women also serve an important role in non-combat roles like nursing, medical officers intelligence, logistics, communications, administration, engineering, medical, and more.
  3. Leadership skills: From the ancient time women are believed to be good influencers and have manipulating skills, this could be very helpful for women in defense mode. This helps to recognize abilities in leading and managing military operations.
  4. Cyber Support: Women are equally qualified as men in terms of accessing technology and advancement tools, the role of women gives them a very fine edge for their inclusion in the armed forces because they can help the defense forces in terms of cyber security dealing with the ongoing cyber threats.

For further updates please visit the Official website of the Indian Amry:

Opportunities for women in defense forces

A. Recruitment and Training Initiatives:

  • For the Recruitment of women in defense forces- The Indian Army, Indian Airforce, Indian Navy, Government, and examination bodies are offering vacancies for women(for ex- In Nda, AFCAT, and CDS) and encouraging women to join the defense forces and serve the country at the highest level.
  • Specialized program in defense forces recognizes that women can serve in defense forces. Programs like Gender-Sensitive Training, Physical fitness, combat training, networking, community building, Advocacy, and Policy Initiatives are shaping women’s recruitment.

B. Promoting Gender equality and inclusion

  • Inclusion and recruitment of women in various defense services like the Indian Army, Indian Airforce, and Indian Navy can impart gender equality among the people in the society and overcome the barrier in which women were supposed to follow orders and support household work only.
  • Women recruitment can also help them to become self-reliant and independent.

C. Advancement in Career Progression

  • With the progression in careers, women can uplift their skills and with their utmost potential can achieve remarkable positions and ranks in the defense forces.
  • Lieutenant General Punita Arora, Lieutenant General Madhuri Kanitkar, and Surgeon Vice Admiral Sheila S. Mathai are the women who have raised the bar and set the standard for women officers.
Punita Arora
Punita Arora
Madhuri Kanitkar
Madhuri Kanitkar
Sheila S. Mathai
Sheila S. Mathai
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Challenges and Ongoing work

A. Persistent challenges faced by women in the defense forces

  • One of the major challenges that women face to join defense forces is ridiculous stereotypes and gender-biased comparisons made by societies, women are meant to consider working in homes and household work.
  • It becomes very clumsy for women to maintain control between both the family and defense forces.
  • Women can be harassed and discriminated against from various backgrounds.

B. Ongoing efforts to overcome these challenges

  • To overcome these challenges women officers are paid almost equally to any male officers, this can create a sense of equality among the women soldiers and boost their morale and enthusiasm.
  • Upholding the Right to Equality- Articles 14, 15, 16, and 19 of the Constitution give advantages to women which allow equal, non-discriminatory opportunities at work.


This brings the end of the article, In this Article, we have discussed everything about the Role of women in the defense forces and the opportunities for them and how the inclusion of women in the defense forces has revitalized the society policies and changed the mindset.

We hope You have got the gist of the knowledge related to the topic, for further defense-related updates keep following our blog channel

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