The Defence Ministry has apprised other ministries including Home Affairs, Culture and Urban Development about the decision to hold the all women parade in the coming year….reports Asian Lite News
Amid a major effort to promote female participation in military and other sectors, the Republic Day parade will see participation only by women in march pasts by forces, tableaux and performances.
A note has been circulated to all the defence forces along with other important stake holders by the ceremonial branch of the Ministry of Defence which organises the Republic Day parade in coordination with all other ministries and departments, defence sources told ANI. “After detailed deliberations, it has been decided that Republic Day 2024 will have women participation, including contingents (marching and bands), tableaux and performances during the parade at the Kartavya Path,” they said.
The Defence Ministry has apprised other ministries including Home Affairs, Culture and Urban Development about the decision to hold the all women parade in the coming year.
In recent years, the defence forces and paramilitary contingents have chosen women contingent commanders and deputy commanders in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s drive to promote women’s participation in all possible roles in the military as they have been given command opportunities along with deployment in combat roles.
Due to such opportunities, women have been able to be fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force and have also been inducted into Army as jawans.
Recently, the Army also opened up the Regiment of Artillery for women officers.
Some senior officials believe that the government will do what is practical, and for the time being it is difficult to have only female participants in all marching and band contingents.
Significantly, the marching contingents of the infantry in the Republic Day parade constitute the largest number of personnel. Officials argue that women have not yet been included in the infantry. Officers who lead marching contingents consist of personnel below officer rank (PBOR) and the Army has the PBOR cadre women personnel only in the Military Police Corps, they assert.
However, it is not that women have no representation in force or that women are marginalised. They are being assigned roles equivalent to men in all three services – they fly fighter aircraft, serve on warships, are inducted into the PBOR cadre, are eligible for permanent commission, are assigned command roles, and also women officers are undergoing training at the National Defence Academy. Despite this, infantry, tanks and combat positions still do not have that participation of women.
According to the Indian Army, Colonel Geeta Rana has recently become the first woman army officer to command an independent unit in the sensitive Ladakh region bordering China. Apart from this, for the first time, the army has deployed a woman officer Captain Shiva Chauhan in the world’s highest and coldest battlefield Siachen this year itself. The army has also deployed its largest contingent of 27 women peacekeepers to the disputed region of Abyei in Sudan. (ANI/IANS)