Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has given the green light to a proposal that ensures women soldiers, sailors, and air warriors receive maternity, child care, and child adoption leave on par with their officer counterparts. This decision aligns with Singh's vision of fostering "inclusive participation" for all women in the armed forces, regardless of their ranks. The move is aimed at enhancing the working conditions for women in the military, enabling them to better balance their professional and family lives.
The official statement reads, "Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved a proposal to extend maternity, child care, and child adoption leave regulations for women soldiers, sailors, and air warriors in the armed forces, ensuring equality with their officer counterparts." As a result of these regulations, all women in the military, regardless of their rank, will have access to the same leave benefits.
Currently, women officers are entitled to 180 days of maternity leave with full pay for each child, up to a maximum of two children. They can also avail 360 days of childcare leave over their total service career, provided the child is under 18 years of age. Additionally, 180 days of child adoption leave are granted after the valid adoption of a child below one year of age.
The ministry stated, "The extension of these leave regulations will significantly address women-specific family and social issues within the armed forces." This measure is expected to enhance the working conditions of women in the military and facilitate a more balanced approach to their professional and family responsibilities.
The ministry further emphasized that this move is in line with the Narendra Modi government's commitment to harnessing "Nari Shakti" (women power). The armed forces have taken a pioneering step in recruiting women as soldiers, sailors, and air warriors, empowering them to contribute their bravery, dedication, and patriotism in defense of the nation's land, sea, and air frontiers.