Republic Day 2024: Indian Defence Ministry moots an all-woman parade in a move to promote gender equality

Republic Day 2024: Indian Defence Ministry moots an all-woman parade in a move to promote gender equality

While the announcement has been hailed as a significant step towards recognizing women's contribution to the armed forces, it has also created confusion among officials who question its practicality.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, May 08, 2023, 10:25 AM IST
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Republic Day 2024: Indian Defence Ministry moots an all-woman parade in a move to promote gender equality | Twitter

In a move aimed at promoting gender equality and women empowerment, the Indian Defence Ministry has announced an all-woman parade for Republic Day 2024. The parade will feature only women participants in marching and band contingents, tableaux, and other performances, stated a report in WION.

While the announcement has been hailed as a significant step towards recognizing women's contribution to the armed forces, it has also created confusion among officials who question its practicality.

A Move to Empower Women in Armed Forces

The announcement of an all-woman parade for Republic Day 2024 is a significant step towards recognizing women's contribution to the armed forces. In recent years, the Indian government has been focusing on promoting women empowerment, with women officers being assigned central roles on par with their male counterparts across the three services.

Women in uniform are flying fighter planes, serving on board warships, being inducted into the PBOR cadre, eligible for permanent commission, being assigned command roles, and undergoing training at the National Defence Academy. However, despite these advancements, tanks and combat positions in the infantry are still not accessible to women.

The parade aims to promote gender equality and showcase women's growing participation in the armed forces, a senior government official was quoted saying.

Women's Participation in Security Forces

Women officers have been taking part in parades and leading marching contingents for the past few years. In March, Colonel Geeta Rana became the first woman army officer to assume command of an independent unit in the sensitive Ladakh sector.

In early January, Captain Shiva Chouhan became the first woman officer to be deployed at Siachen, the world's highest and coldest battleground. The army also deployed its largest contingent of 27 women peacekeepers in Sudan's disputed region of Abyei, where they are performing security-related tasks in a challenging mission as part of the United Nations Interim Security Force (UNISFA), the report stated.

Confusion Among Officials

The announcement of an all-woman parade for Republic Day 2024 has created confusion among officials, who question its practicality. While the defence ministry's letter states that the parade will feature only women participants in marching and band contingents, tableaux, and other performances, officials say that it may not be possible to include women participants in all marching and band contingents.

For instance, women have not been inducted into the infantry, which has the maximum number of marching contingents at the parade. Officers lead the marching contingents, which consist of personnel below officer rank (PBOR). The army has women in the PBOR cadre only in the Corps of Military Police.

Indian Govt's Efforts to Promoting Women Empowerment in Army

Despite these challenges, the Indian government has been taking significant steps towards promoting women empowerment in the armed forces. Women officers are being assigned central roles on par with their male counterparts across the three services, and their participation in parades and other events is increasing.

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