Women Soldiers Get Same Maternity Leaves As Officers
Published On: 07 Nov 2023 Updated On: 07 Nov 2023
Indian Ministry of Defense passed its approval on Sunday, (November 5, 2023), regarding a proposal permitting leverage of the rules for child care, child adoption, and maternity leaves for women working as soldiers, sailors, and air warriors in the military field at par with their officer counterparts. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh gave a detailed report and talked about this grant on November 5. He mentioned that this approval and his decision align with the vision of ‘inclusive participation’ of women irrespective of forces and their ranks, everyone will be given opportunities equally.
Furthermore, the implementation of this proposal will pave the way for the betterment and progress of women’s workforce in the military. In addition to that, women can find a comfortable balance in their personal or family lives as well as their professional ones. The report read that the Defense Ministry has given its consent to the extension of the rules regarding maternity, child care, and child adoption leaves for every woman soldier, air force warrior, and sailor at par with their officer counterparts. This means irrespective of their rank or level, every woman in the military would be able to access this opportunity.
Presently, a woman officer is eligible to take 180 days of maternity leave with full payment for each child, given the maximum number of children is 2. This comes with a provision for an extension of a month of leave without pay in exceptional cases and 30 days of leave in the instance of a miscarriage or abortion. Apart from this, 360 days of childcare leave can be taken is granted in a total service career, given the child is below the age of 18 years to the officers, as per mentioned by the officials. The report even includes the leaves women working in the armed forces can take for a child’s adoption. The officer can apply for 180 days leave given that the child is below 1 year of age and the date of confirmation and adoption is legally approved.
This new feature or proposal applies to only those women soldiers, sailors, and air warriors who feature among the 25% of Agniveers admitted into the three services on a merit-based selection after completing their four-year term. This is because the terms and conditions of the Agnipath scheme state that they cannot marry till they are serving the four-year term under the scheme.
“The extension of leave rules will go a long way in dealing with women-specific family and social issues relevant to the armed forces. This measure is going to improve the work conditions of women in the military and aid them in balancing the spheres of professional and family life in a better manner,” the report of approval said.
Defense of Ministry concluded the report by saying that this proposal is also a form of initiative aligning with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Nari Shakti’ (Woman Power) where the inclusion of women soldiers, sailors, and air warriors is promoted in the three pillars of the armed forces.
Appointment of women Agniveers or inclusivity empowers both bravery and dedication with the patriotism of women soldiers, air warriors, and sailors, who safeguard the land, air, and sea borders of our nation day and night. The ministry applauded the women officers saying that from being deployed in Siachen which is the world’s largest battlefield to being posted on warships as well as the sky troops, Indian women have come a long way and breaking the barriers with their sheer bravery, dedication, and passion.
In 2019, the Indian armed forces achieved a milestone with the inclusion and recruitment of women in the Corps of Military Police as soldiers. Defence Minister often speaks about his vision of women being on par in every field with their male counterparts.
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