This historic decision is a proud moment for India, let us take a look at the list of countries that allow women in the military!
After waiting for decades, Indian Army has finally taken a historic decision and deployed ‘rifle women’ for the first time on combat duty in Kashmir and the Line of Control. Women platoons of Assam Rifles joined the security duty in the Tangdhar sector of north Kashmir. Captain Gursimran Kaur of the Army Service Corps, who herself is a third-generation military officer in her family is leading the group of 30 women soldiers in the valley.
This is a welcome change in 13-lakh strong Indian Army who has been inducting women in small numbers in the Army since 1990 but only as an officer. Women have never been a part of “fighting arms” of armoured corps, mechanized infantry and artillery. While India has started to send its women for combat duty, let’s look at other countries which send its women on the frontline.
The United States: In the US military, women are playing a more active role in direct combat for the last 18 years due to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. A British daily newspaper The Guardian reported that the US military lifted the ban on female soldiers serving in combat roles in January 2013 and said that anyone qualified should be given a chance to be in the front line of war regardless of their gender.
Australia: The country opened all employment categories in Australian defence force from 1st January 2013 for women who were serving in the Australian Defence Force. The Australian Department of defence had said that time that women serving members of the Australian Defence Force were entitled to apply for a career in a combat role if they meet the requirements.
France: Women in France can serve the military except in the riot-control gendarmerie and on submarines. A British Survey found that in 2006 that 1.7 per cent of combat infantry comprised women and 19 per cent of French military personnel belonged to the female gender.
Germany: After a ruling by the European Court of Justice, women joined German combat units in 2001 for the first time. The Court said that preventing women from taking part in combat roles was against the principles of gender equality.
Canada: In Canada, all military occupations have been open to women since 1989. The submarine service for women was little late in opening up, but it did in the year 2000. Numbers of women in Candian forces have increased to 15.1 per cent in 2017 from 11.4 per cent in 2001.
Israel: The Israeli defence force began including women in combat positions since 1995.
The UK: As per a BBC report, then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron lifted a ban on women serving in close combat units in the British military in July 2016.
In May 2016, the ministry of defence published a paper on the role of females in ground close combat and said that opening ground close combat roles for women will increase the talent available to the defence and will help in delivering equal opportunity to all service personnel.
Denmark: Denmark adopted a policy of total inclusion way early in 1988 following trials in 1985 and 1987 which explored the capabilities of females in combat.
Finland: Finland allows females in close combat roles. All services and units of the Finland defence forces and the Finland border guard accept females as security personnel.
The Netherlands: The Netherlands, another European country in the list which allows the women to take part in combat roles.
New Zealand: Presently led by Jacinda Ardern (famous female leader), New Zealand has no restrictions on roles for women in its defence force. Women can serve in the armours, infantry and artillery divisions as a consequence of a law that was made in 2001.
Norway: In 1985, equal opportunities legislation was implemented in the armed forces of Norway. Hence, it became the first Nato country to allow females in all combat functions, including submarines.
Poland: Poland includes women in close combat roles as it allows females to volunteer and serves in all services of the army.
Romania: There is no distinction between men and women in Romania when it comes to combat roles.
Spain: The armed forces personnel law of Spain in May 1999 eliminated the gender discrimination which allowed women to join all positions in any service.
Sweden: Sweden is considered one of the best countries for a woman. The country doesn’t discriminate between men and women to any positions in the Swedish military since 1989.
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