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Talking About Permanent Commission For Women, Supreme Court Says Society’s Rules, ‘Made By Men, For Men’

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I was 8 years old when the movie Lakshya released. Being the hardcore Hrithik Roshan fan I was, I remember dragging my parents to watch it on the first day for the first show. For the longest time after that, I would tell my mother and anyone who asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up that I was going to join the military and protect our country. In fact, I was so enthused about the idea that I even asked my parents if I could go to military school. Of course, none of that panned out but that’s probably for the best. At that age, little did I know that women officers in the military have it incredibly difficult. For a long time now, women officers in the Army have been fighting for recognition, credit and permanent commission. It’s only recently that the Supreme Court has stepped in and is finally recognizing just how gender biased the requirements for permanent commission in the army are. We are loving the way the top court is now setting things straight. Better late than never, right?

Earlier today, while pronouncing the verdict on petitions filed by around 80 women officers for permanent commission in the army, the Supreme Court came to the conclusion that the medical fitness requirement for women to get Permanent Commission in the army is “arbitrary” and “irrational”. This comes after the army required women officers to have the same medical standards at 45 as their younger male counterparts. At least we know that the Supreme Court is in our corner!

A two-judge bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah said, “We must recognise here that the structure of our society has been created by males, for males.”

Also Read: To Get Permanent Commission In The Army, 45 YO Women Officers Have To Be As Medically Fit As 25 YO Male Officers

The Supreme Court held that the army’s selective Annual Confidential Report (ACR) evaluation and late implementation of the medical fitness criterion scream gender-bias and is discriminatory towards women. The bench said, “The pattern of evaluation causes economic and psychological harm to SSC ( (short service commission) women officers.”

Moving on, the court talked about how the achievements of women officers are ignored and overlooked. Justice Chandrachud said, “Several of the women officers before the court had won several awards. Several had done well on overseas assignments. We find that those who excelled in sports events were ignored, a detailed list of achievements by women has been given in the judgment… It looks like the Board was sitting for rejection rather than selection.”

If the Supreme Court can see just how discriminatory the requirements are for women officers, why is the army turning a blind eye? It’s time women get their dues. They should be able to avail of permanent commission following the same criteria’s imposed on male officers. We are extremely glad the Supreme Court is calling out the army for its gender biases. Someone had to.

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