While talking about women soldiers for frontline combat duty in the near future, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has said that unless there is a change in mindsets in society, both genders can’t work together in forward areas. Rawat, who took over as the Army Chief on December 31, said that a decision on the role of women in frontline combat can only be taken if they ‘share equal responsibility like their male equivalents.
Rawat on Friday said, equal opportunity brings equal responsibility and it’s up to women to decide if they are willing to join men in a frontline combat role without additional facilities. He further asked whether they (women) would be comfortable ‘sleeping under a tank’ with their colleagues while on duty?
He stated that “when out on tanks, the men cook and sleep under the tank. There are no toilet facilities when out on patrol. All willing to sleep under the tank and if the women folk are willing to accept it… If women are willing to move out in that environment, the women folk themselves need to take a call. Once the women are willing to take this kind of call, we will address this issue.”
“You have to see society as whole. I have said that if we induct women into combat role, they will have to share equal responsibility like their male counterparts… Which means that they will have to perform exactly the same task,” Rawat said while addressing his first annual conference.