Troops Not Schooled to Accept Women in Command Posts: Govt to SC

“...The physical capacity of women officers remains a challenge for command of units,” the govt’s note to SC said. 

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Law
2 min read
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A written note by the government to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, 4 February, has said that "troops are not yet mentally schooled to accept women officers in command of units" in the Army.

WHAT DID THE NOTE SAY?

The government's note, in response to a plea filed by women officers on command posting, said that "inherent physiological differences between men and women preclude equal physical performance resulting in lower physical standards and hence, the physical capacity of women officers remains a challenge for command of units."

“...it is a greater challenge for women officers to meet these hazards of service owing to prolonged absence during pregnancy, motherhood and domestic obligations towards their children and families, especially when both husband and wife happen to be service officers.”
Government’s note

WHAT DID THE COURT SAY?

The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi, meanwhile, indicated that a complete bar against women officers for holding command posts wasn't right, and that it should depend on organisational requirement and suitability, reported The Times of India.

"A change of mindset is required with changing times. You need to give them opportunity and they will serve to the best of their capabilities," the court said.

WHAT HAPPENED A DAY LATER?

A day later, on Wednesday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the government, conveyed to the bench that the Centre was not "trying to advance the argument that men cannot take commands from women."

"Unfortunately that is what was reported," SG Mehta said.

"Why do women strive to be equal to men when they are and can be far ahead of them," he added.

(With inputs from The Hindu, The Times of India and Bar and Bench.)

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