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Rajnath Singh: Maternity and Childcare Leaves Extended for Women in Armed Forces

The Defence Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh, has recently sanctioned a significant policy change, approving the extension of Maternity, Child Care, and Child Adoption Leaves for women soldiers, sailors, and air warriors in the Armed Forces. This decision stands as a testament to the commitment to fostering a more inclusive and supportive environment for women across ranks in the military.

Equality Across Ranks: A Vision of Inclusivity

The decision to grant these extended leaves, regardless of rank distinctions, reflects the Defence Minister’s vision for the inclusive participation of women in the Armed Forces. By ensuring that these privileges are uniformly available to all women in the military, this move aims to create an environment where every female personnel—whether an officer or of any other rank—can benefit equally.

Addressing Women-Specific Issues

The extension of leave rules is an important stride towards addressing and managing women-specific family and social concerns that are pertinent to the military community. These measures are expected to significantly improve the work conditions for female personnel, allowing them to navigate the dual spheres of professional responsibilities and family life with greater balance and ease.

Government’s Commitment to Nari Shakti

This policy change aligns with the larger commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government to leverage and empower Nari Shakti (women power). The initiative also aligns with the Services’ approach to embracing women as soldiers, sailors, and air warriors, acknowledging and valuing their bravery, dedication, and patriotism in safeguarding the country’s frontiers across land, sea, and air.

Breaking Barriers: Women’s Role in Armed Forces

Indian women in the Armed Forces have been steadily breaking barriers and achieving significant milestones. From operational deployment in challenging terrains like Siachen to commanding warships and excelling in aerial domains, women’s roles have diversified and expanded. Notably, the recruitment of women soldiers in the Corps of Military Police in 2019 marked a momentous milestone in gender inclusivity within the Indian Army.

A Quest for Parity and Inclusivity

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh’s unwavering stance emphasizes the necessity for women to be on par with their male counterparts across all military roles. This latest policy change is a significant step towards creating a more equitable and supportive environment for women serving in the Armed Forces, aligning with the broader agenda of gender parity and inclusivity.

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