Gender equality in armed forces essential, says Anupama Joshi

DEHRADUN: Women have demanded equal opportunities and permanent commission in armed forces, not on the basis of their gender, but on the basis of their track record and merit as an officer.

editorial@tribune.com

Tribune News Service

Dehradun, November 20

Women have demanded equal opportunities and permanent commission in armed forces, not on the basis of their gender, but on the basis of their track record and merit as an officer.

Wing Commander (retd) Anupama Joshi stated this while delivering a special lecture on the topic ‘Women in Armed Forces: A Battle Within’ in the Senate Hall of Doon University on Saturday.

The lecture was organised in collaboration with Committee for Redressal of Gender Issues (CRGI) of the Doon University.

Anupama is a member of the first batch of 12 women officers who joined the Indian Air Force in 1992. She was denied permanent commission in the Air Force on the basis of her gender. She took the fight for gender discrimination in the Armed Forces to court and was instrumental in getting permanent commission for women officers. It was a seven-year battle in the Delhi High Court which opened doors for women to have equal place as men in the defence services.

Anupama said, “In my struggle for gender equality, I got more support from men than women. I contacted more than 50 women officer but none of them came forward except one. All women officers feared that their husband’s career might suffer if they fought against the Indian Air Force”.

“When I started the fight for rights of women officer to get permanent commission in armed forces I knew nothing about the courts and judicial process. But from day one I was clear I was fighting for the right cause. Armed forces were not fair towards women officers,” she added.

Anupama retired from the Air Force in 2007. After winning the court case, she was again offered permanent commission in Air Force but she did not go back. Because of her relentless fight, today women officers get permanent commission like their male counterparts. Currently, she is serving as Director Personnel at The Doon School.

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