Can women ride a bike in India?

India: Women will soon also be allowed to pilot fighter jets

New Delhi - Women in the Indian army should soon also be allowed to pilot fighter jets. "We have female pilots who fly transport planes and helicopters, and now we are planning to introduce them to the combat department to meet the needs of young women in India," said Air Force chief Arup Raha on Thursday.

For years, Indian women have been demanding the opportunity to fight in the armed forces. So far, women have not been able to do this in the air force, the navy or the army. Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said a few months ago that this was not possible for security reasons. The government feared women might be captured, then tortured or raped. It is often felt in Indian society that harming an Indian woman would damage national honor.

Until 1990 only in medical service

At the same time, rape is widespread in India. In December 2012, a brutal gang rape of a student on a public bus in the Indian capital New Delhi made headlines around the world. The girl died, the act sparked a nationwide debate about violence against women. It led to a tightening of the legislation, but serious attacks continue to occur.

Until the early 1990s, women in the Indian army were only allowed to work in the medical service. Since then, the armed forces have slowly opened up. In the air force of India's archenemy Pakistan and its great rival China, women are allowed to pilot fighter jets. (APA, October 8, 2015)