With over three decades women being in the Indian Air Force, there’s a lot to celebrate about women in the Armed Forces. From Republic Day parades to flying fighter jets, women are touching the sky with glory. “It will be almost three decades for woman officers in IAF. Aircraft doesn’t know whether it’s a male or female officer who is flying it. It is the journey to sit in the aircraft that says everything — whether we’ll be able to do it or not,” Wing Commander Shaliza Dhami said to ANI.
“If we were incapable of doing it, then we wouldn’t have been at the spot. I have put in more 17 years of service and there are so many others like me,” adds Wing Commander Shaliza Dhami.
The headcount of women in the military has increased almost three-fold over the last six years. The overall population of women, as per a recent discussion in Parliament, is almost 10,000 across the forces. There are 9,118 women currently serving the army, navy and air force. Just five years ago this figure was just one third.
Back in 2016, India made history with the first ever batch of women fighter pilots get formally inducted into the forces. The commissioning ceremony took place at the Indian Air Force Academy in Hakimpet in Telangana that saw former Late Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in attendance. Avani Chaturvedi, Mohana Singh and Bhawna Kanth are the three pilots who were selected by the IAF, and after months of rigorous training they joined the fighter squadron.