Women soldiers to get same maternity leave as female officers: Defence ministry

Defence minister Rajnath Singh has approved a proposal that will entitle women soldiers, sailors and air warriors to the same maternity, childcare and child adoption leaves as female officers in the three services, the defence ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

“With the issuing of the rules, the grant of such leaves to all women in the military, whether one is an officer or any other rank, will be equally applicable,” it said.

This comes at a time when the armed forces have opened their doors to women in the personnel below officer rank (PBOR) cadre for the first time under the Agnipath recruitment model.

The decision is in line with the minister’s vision of inclusive participation of all women in the armed forces, irrespective of their ranks, the statement said. “The extension of leave rules will go a long way in dealing with women-specific family and social issues relevant to the armed forces. This measure is going to improve the work conditions of women in the military and aid them to balance the spheres of professional and family life in a better manner.”