Empowering Women Officers: Progressive Initiatives by Indian Navy
Several progressive and first-time initiatives have been taken by the Indian Navy in the last few months towards empowering women officers. Recognising the importance of providing equal opportunities to women officers, seven women officers from the batch of Short Service Commission officers of the Education branch and Naval Constructor cadre, who joined in 2008-09, have been granted Permanent Commission.
Additional avenues for employment of women officers have also been opened up. Starting in 2017, women officers can choose to join as Pilots of Maritime Reconnaissance planes viz. Boeing P8I, Dornier, etc, as also in the Naval Armament Inspectorate cadre. Thus, a total of eight branches/cadres will be opened for women officers in the Navy.
The Navy is also finalising the policy for women officers to serve on select warships that have appropriate facilities for women. In order to demonstrate that women are second to none in tough adventure activities, a crew of six Naval women officers including the skipper, is meticulously preparing for the first, all-women, circumnavigation of the world in 2017 by an Indian team, in an indigenously built ocean sailing vessel, Mhadei II.