By Tanya Yadav

Army Cheif Bipin Rawat has given a statement which seems to be anti-women and shows patriarchial mindset. Actually, he recently gave an interview to News18 where he made a series of remarks which are not acceptable in present times. 

While answering a question about why women are not in frontline combat roles, he said that army soldiers mostly come from villages and acceptance of women will take time. He added that a lady will have to be ‘cocooned’ separately because she will say that ‘someone’ is peeping.

His statements not only show that army doors will take time to open for women, but also that there is a sense of insecurity. Army chief himself is not secure with women taking combat roles. Maybe he knows that women won’t be safe in that environment.

Despite all that, it should be the responsibility of the army to make that profession safe for women instead of isolating them from it. Bipin Rawat was also ‘worried’ about women wanting to take maternity leave. 

Bipin Rawat’s statement raises two main questions, about women being accepted by male counterparts and women taking maternity leave. These are nothing but patriarchal ways of restricting women in society from going beyond their home limits. Women security becomes an easy way for ‘weak’ men to defend their insecurities. 

Women have constantly broken such thinking by challenging it. If that would not have been the case then no Savitri Bai Phule would have started first women school in India. If that would have been the case that no Indira Gandhi would have led the whole nation as Prime Minister, no Sarla Thakral would have become the first women to fly aircraft, no Mary Kom would have won medals for India and the list goes on. 

When women are proving their talent and worth in every field, then why are men like Bipin Rawat still rigid with their thinking?

When will they stop being master telling ‘when they are ready to accept’ and instead start knowing when women are ‘willing to do’!


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