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Will have to do same task as men: Army chief on combat role for women

Asserting that equal opportunity brings equal responsibility, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Friday said it’s up to women to decide if they they are willing to join men in frontline combat role without separate and additional facilities.

He mentioned that when out on tanks, the men sleep under the tank during the night with no separate facility.

Noting that women are present in combat arms of the army except on the the frontlines, Gen Rawat reminded that there are no toilet facilities when they go out on patrol.

“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 because equal opportunity must come with equal responsibility. Which means that they will have to perform exactly the same task,” he said addressing his first annual conference here after taking over as Chief of Army Staff on December 31.

Giving the example of soldiers in tanks, he said there is a unit of three personnel in each of them and when they go out, or are in a combat, they just sleep under the tank.

“The three men crew have a stove. They cook and sleep under that tank. That is how they do,” he said, adding there is no toilet facility or separate accommodation given to them.

“So, if all three in the tank, if it is one woman or two women and a male, if they are all willing to sleep under the tank and if the women folk are willing to accept it....,” he said citing another example.
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