Pitching for equal opportunities for women, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said the gender bias existing in security forces should be removed.
The Minister said one of the reason for setting up Mahilla Battalions was to remove gender bias against women that they cannot perform certain duties.
"Properly trained, properly equipped and given the right opportunities, women can do just as well as men in every walk of life," Chidambaram said addressing the first Nagaland Women Battalion, who were deployed in the national capital for the security of the just-concluded Commonwealth Games.
About 1,000 women personnel of the Nagaland Armed Police (Indian Reserve), were deployed in various markets in New Delhi besides at Delhi Metro stations during the Games duration.
The personnel, who have undergone the initial general training, were still undergoing an advance weapon and tactics jungle warfare training when they were taken out to be deployed here.
Observing that physical structure of women is different from that of of men and that an average man is physically stronger than an average woman, Chidambaram said they make up for that with certain other qualities like adaptability, resilience and at times better judgement.
"We are of the view that that the gender bias that has existed for many many years in the armed forces, our paramilitary forces, should be removed and women must be given the same opportunity that men have relating to every kind of security duty and to rise through the ranks to hold the
highest posts in the security forces," the Minister said.
Earlier, while welcoming Chidambaram, the Battalion Commander Meren Jamir had said that the it would be helpful if his personnel are given lighter and sleeker AK 47 weapons than the long SLRs that they are using.
Chidambaram, later speaking to reporters, said it is not a big problem and can be sorted out. He said the government is buying a number of AK 47s.