Landmark Ruling Finally Grants Women Equal Rights in the Indian Military

Despite years of ongoing legislative grief and gender bias, the Supreme Court of India has upheld a 2010 verdict that women be offered the same militaristic opportunities in commissioning as men.

The landmark ruling—which the government will be required to uphold within the next three months—means that women in the armed forces can now assume the post of colonel, brigadier, major general, lieutenant general, and chief of army staff. Furthermore, they will be eligible for the same benefits and pensions as their male colleagues regardless of their years of service.

Although the Delhi High Court had already approved equal treatment for female officers 9 years ago, the government attempted to overturn the ruling by arguing that women were not eligible for promotion or intelligence positions because of their “physiological limitations”.

“Women officers must deal with pregnancy, motherhood, and domestic obligations towards their children and families and may not be well suited to the life of a soldier in the armed forces,” stated the central government, according to CNN.

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Thanks to last month’s ruling from the Supreme Court, however, female officers will no longer be subjected to such archaic discrimination.

“[The] time has come that women officers are not adjunct to their male counterparts. Physiological features of women have no link to their rights. The mindset must change,” Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Ajay Rastogi said in their ruling. “To cast aspersion on gender is an affront to their dignity and to the country.”

“All the lady officers in the Indian Army are very happy and very elated by the landmark judgment,” Lt. Col. Sandhya Yadav said after the verdict on Monday, as reported by The Associated Press. “It was a long wait and has ended. We are happy about it.”

Photo by Suyash Dwivedi, CC

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Australian Soldiers Are Using Their Time Off to Care for Koalas Displaced by the Fires

As rainfall continues to extinguish the bushfires still burning across Australia, this brigade of soldiers has been doing their part to help recovering wildlife by using their rest periods to help injured koalas.

The 9th Brigade of the Australian Army recently posted a photo of their soldiers from the 16 Regiment Emergency Support Force bottle-feeding koalas at the Cleland Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills.

According to the Brigade’s Facebook post, the soldiers have been using their time off from bushfire relief work to care for the koalas and build climbing structures for all the recovering marsupials.

Since the photos were posted to social media a few weeks ago, they have been shared more than 45,000 times.

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Not only have the soldiers been offering a helping hand to the wildlife center, they have also been helping to clear away burnt debris, hosting community benefits, offering emotional support to affected Australians, and tidying up residential properties.

Thankfully, the torrential rainfall across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory has extinguished more than 30 of the region’s the active bushfires—and officials say the downpour could put out the rest of the fires by the end of the week.

Although the downpour has resulted in some flooding across the provinces, the NSW Rural Fire Service says they are “over the moon” to see the rainfall aiding them in their fight against the bushfires.

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