NA set to recruit more female soldiers
Feb 23, 2014-Amid calls to make the national army more inclusive, the Nepal Army (NA) is taking various steps to increase female workforce to five percent of its total strength—on par with most foreign militaries.
In a bid to encourage women to join the organisation, the NA recently implemented Directive on Gender Conduct 2070 BS and Women Military Directive 2070 BS. It said the core aim of such directives is to create a gender-responsive measure and adopt a zero-tolerance policy against any kinds of violence against women.
The Women Military Directive 2070 BS aims at ensuring appointment of in-service women in the fixed groups, facilities and career development opportunities up to the highest position. “These provisions will facilitate the entry of more women into the military service and meet our international commitments,” said NA spokesperson Brig Gen Jagadish Chandra Pokhrel.
The NA currently has 1,776 female personnel on its payroll, constituting 1.91 percent of its total strength. Among the female NA officers, 134 are in the general service and 172 in technical service. Junior commissions, non-commission female officers and other ranks include 1,236 in the general service and 234 in technical service, according to the latest NA data.
“The Nepal Army is taking some initiatives to increase the number of women which is an encouraging development,” said Sabin Shrestha, Executive Director, Forum for Women, Law and Development, an organisation which is closely monitoring the inclusion in security agencies.
The NA has been recruiting women soldiers for the last forty years. Today, women soldiers are accepted as equals to their male counterparts. Before 2004, women were recruited in the nursing service, medical doctors, engineers, legal service and parachute folders in the Parachute Regiment. However, the NA has since opened up a number of other positions to women such as military police, office staff, army band, drivers, clerks, aircraft technicians, combat and combat support and combat service support.
“The process of inducting women into the NA was a little bit delayed. In the recent years, there has been some positive development,” said Lt Gen Balananda Sharma (retd). “The United Nations is giving priority to those countries in the peace missions which have ensured women’s participation.”
Published: 23-02-2014 01:59