On March 8, 2022, Group Captain Shaliza Dhami made history by becoming the first woman officer in the Indian Air Force (IAF) to be appointed as the leader of a frontline combat unit in the Western sector. This achievement marks a significant milestone in the IAF’s history and is a step towards gender equality in the armed forces.
Group Captain Shaliza Dhami has been appointed as the leader of a missile squadron in the Western sector of India. Her appointment is a significant achievement for women in the Indian armed forces as it is the first time that a woman officer has been given such a command position in a frontline combat unit. Group Captain Dhami is an experienced helicopter pilot and has served as a flight commander in the Western sector. She has received commendations from the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief on two occasions for her excellent service.
Dhami’s Appointment Group Captain Dhami’s appointment as the leader of a missile squadron is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it marks a significant milestone in the history of the Indian Air Force. The IAF has been working towards increasing the representation of women in the force, and Group Captain Dhami’s appointment is a step towards achieving this goal. Secondly, it is a positive step towards gender equality in the armed forces. Women have been serving in the Indian armed forces for several decades, but they have been largely confined to administrative and support roles. Group Captain Dhami’s appointment shows that women are capable of leading combat units and can excel in combat roles.
The Indian armed forces have been working towards increasing the representation of women in the force for several years. In 2020, the Indian Army began assigning women officers to command roles outside the medical stream. Approximately 50 women are expected to lead units in operational areas. The Indian Navy and Air Force have also been taking steps to increase the representation of women in the force. Women are now eligible to serve in all branches and streams of the Indian armed forces except for the Special Forces.
Women in the Indian armed forces face several challenges, including gender bias, discrimination, and sexual harassment. The armed forces have been taking steps to address these issues, but progress has been slow. Women in combat roles face additional challenges such as physical fitness requirements, which are often geared towards men. The lack of facilities such as separate washrooms and accommodation can also make it difficult for women to serve in combat roles.