ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Women in the Paramilitary Forces

A parliamentary committee makes some important recommendations on women in the paramilitary forces.

Women may have gained entry into the army and paramilitary forces but the impression they are given in no uncertain terms by a majority of their male colleagues and superiors is that they are only “tolerated” there. While expediency and the need for political correctness ensure their presence in the forces, a deeply ingrained sociocultural prejudice about their capacity for the job remains in these institutions. Women are inducted into the central paramilitary forces (CPMF) with much fanfare, but it is overwhelmingly into the lower ranks. The report of the Parliamentary Committee on Empowerment of Women (2010-11) on “Women in Paramilitary Forces” becomes significant in this context.

The report observes that there is an urgent need to provide due representation to women in the paramilitary forces, that women are not given employment on compassionate grounds in these forces “on one or the other pretext” and that the Supreme Court’s guidelines on a special cell to prevent sexual harassment are not being scrupulously followed. It has “strongly” recommended that gender sensitisation programmes be made a mandatory part of the basic training syllabus.

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