Recently, the Central Government told the Supreme Court that women officers shouldn’t be appointed in commanding positions in the army because the male troops wouldn’t accept a female authority figure. They also justified their claim stating that women were physiologically different than men and hence the two cannot be treated equally.
However, the Supreme Court thinks differently and has ordered the centre to ensure that women officers are given permanent commission in the army and that they should be made eligible for commanding positions, reports India Today.
According to NDTV, the Supreme Court stated that the Central Government’s arguments against women officers were “discriminatory”, “disturbing,” and based on stereotypes.
The court stated that women officers could “rise to the rank of Colonel and above based on merit like their male counterparts”. After achieving the rank of a Colonel, a woman officer can command a battalion, which consists of 850 men. They will also have permission to carry out “independent tasks”.
Supreme Court made it clear that the army “could not discriminate between men and women” and that a “blatant gender-bias” has been propagated for years.
“To cast aspersions on gender is an affront to their dignity and to the country. Time has come that women officers are not adjunct to their male counterparts,” the court said.
“Physiological features of women have no link to their rights. The mindset must change. Women work shoulder to shoulder with men. The centre’s submission is based on gender discrimination and stereotype,” they added.
However, at the moment, the court has also barred women officers from combat roles.
Women officers celebrate outside Court after the Supreme Court upheld their right for consideration for the grant of permenant commissions. The Court came down heavily on sex stereotypes and observed that the physiological features of women have no bearing on their entitlements. pic.twitter.com/qqKh0XxyfU
— Karan Gupta (@karanngupta) February 17, 2020
The court has given 3 months to the centre to implement the judgement.
People on the internet are celebrating the Supreme Court’s verdict on the position of female officers in the army. There were some who weren’t pleased of the idea to bar women from combat roles.
Kudos! Now implement mandatory sex education in government schools to deal with the so-called 'not-yet-mentally-schooled-to-accept-women-officers' kinds from the rural.https://t.co/gVtGzIOLn4 via @indiatoday
— Bijin (@bijin_jose) February 17, 2020
It’s a historic moment for Indian army. “To cast aspersions on gender is an affront to their dignity and to the country.” Well said by the Supreme Court. https://t.co/faEPIzfKdq
— Abhinav Khare (@iabhinavKhare) February 17, 2020
Congratulations !! All serving women officers in Indian army and Indian women on finally getting their long due right of permanent commission. Thank you Supreme Court of India for this historic judgement!!
— नाम में क्या रखा है चलिए इंसान बनते हैं!! (@rsqrkb) February 17, 2020
#MondayMotivaton The #SupremeCourt upholding the High court judgement on "command and criteria" appointments on par with male officers in the #IndianArmy. A big win for the brave women who have been fighting relentlessly to make our armed forces a more equal place #WomenInCommand
— Nida Hasan (@hasanida) February 17, 2020
Even though SC’s judgement doesn’t entirely treat women officers at par with male officers, this is definitely a good start and a historic moment for women in the Indian Army.