The government has decided to recruit women jawans into the Army’s Corps of Military Police (CMP) for investigating gender specific crimes. However, induction of women into the Army’s combat arms could still be a long way as the CMP is only a support arm. Putting women jawans in combat roles will be a lunge forward for the Army, known for being male-dominated. But is also a step that the male jawans may not be mentally prepared for, according to women officers.
At the Army chiefs’ conclave held in New Delhi on 08 September 2017, the army’s Adjutant General Lt. Gen. Ashwani Kumar gave a briefing on several important decisions taken in relation to the Army. One of the major decisions was of the recruitment of women jawans. A decision has now been taken to introduce women in ranks (as jawans) starting from Corps of Military Police. Due to the increasing needs for investigation against gender specific allegations and crime, a necessity was felt to to introduce women in the CMP.
Even Army chief General Bipin Rawat had voiced concerns regarding women in combat, but has left the decision on them. “In Arunachal, the longest patrol that goes to the border lasts for 35 days. At night, when you halt, a blue sheet is pulled out and everybody sleeps under it together. There is no toilet. If women are willing to move in that environment, the women folk themselves need to take a call,” he had stated in January. However, women officers who have been under stressful physical conditions state confiently that they are ready to take on all challenges.