Rajnath Okay’s Maternity Child Care Leave for Women Soldiers of All Ranks

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday approved maternity and child care leave for women officers of all ranks in the armed forces, a move that will benefit over 1,000 women soldiers. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Defence Ministry’s apex body, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Singh. The new policy will allow women officers to avail up to 6 months of maternity leave and up to 2 years of child care leave during their service. Earlier, maternity leave was granted only to women officers up to the rank of Colonel, while child care leave was not available to them. The move is seen as a significant step towards gender equality in the armed forces. It will not only provide women soldiers with the opportunity to balance their personal and professional lives but also encourage more women to join the defence services. The Defence Ministry has been working on a number of initiatives to improve the representation of women in the armed forces. In 2019, it opened up all branches of the Indian Army to women officers, including combat roles. The ministry has also set a target of increasing the number of women in the armed forces to 20% by 2030. The new maternity and child care leave policy is expected to further boost the participation of women in the defence services. It is a welcome move that will benefit not only women soldiers but also the armed forces as a whole..

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