Millennium Post

Financial safety not national security reason for women to join BSF: Study

Financial safety not national security reason for women to join BSF: Study

New Delhi: Financial security is the main factor for women joining the country's largest border guarding force BSF in the constabulary rather than the desire to serve the nation, a first-of-its kind study has found.

The study, conducted by BSF official K Ganesh, also found that an overwhelming majority of women personnel working with the border guarding force have never experienced any major instances of sexual harassment at workplace.

The study is a maiden analytical attempt to understand issues faced by combat women in any of the central armed police forces (CAPFs), which have a "predominantly" male-oriented domain, and also the government's policy decision to scale up their strength to 15 per cent of the total workforce.

Published in the latest journal of the national policing think tank -- Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) -- it found most of the women constables do not have access to a lady doctor, they lack adequate rest during menstrual cycles and common usage of cuss words by male colleagues "offends" them.

The about 2.65-lakh personnel strong Border Security Force is tasked to guard the country's two most important borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh apart from conducting counter-insurgency and anti-Naxal operations.

"The main reason for these women for choosing a career in the BSF appears to be financial security...more than 80 per cent have said that the reason for joining the force is for employment or for financial reasons."

"Only 11 out of 55 said they are in the service for serving the nation," the study accessed by PTI said.

More than 50 per cent of the respondents, according to the study, have said they will quit the service in less than 20 years and only 18 per cent want to serve till retirement.

"Majority of the respondents feel that their status in the community has gone up because of their joining BSF," it said. Liberal leave entitlement, access to health care for self and family, canteen facilities and other allowances compensate for the hard and risky job, it said.

A total of 55 women personnel posted in various border units were contacted for the survey-based study that sought their responses on issues like job satisfaction, sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination and subjects that stress and motivate them. PTI

Neelabh Srivastava

Neelabh Srivastava

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