Policy and practice for women’s participation in the Nepalese Army is based
on the national policy of gender equality and women empowerment. The
Nepalese Army has opened recruitment process for women since 1961.
Women’s participation in civil services and other security forces has followed
an increasing trend since 1990.
The Nepalese Army started enrolling women from 1961 in technical service
and since 2004 in general service. After the socio-political changes in 1990, the
awareness and practice of gender equality increased throughout the country.
Even though the concept of women soldiers is not new in the Nepalese Army,
it has never before reached the proportions of today. Women’s participation
in technical service in the Nepalese Army also expanded continually as
follows: Nurses (1961), Para folders (1965), Medical doctors (1969), Legal
(1998), Engineering (2004), Aviation (2011).
In 2004 when the country was fighting against insurgency, the Nepalese
Army opened its door to women soldiers in general service which comprised
of combat related duties. First, women cadres in other rank were recruited
in 2004 and then women officer cadets were enrolled in 2005. Since 2004,
a number of other services have opened up for women soldiers. They are
Military Police, Signalers, Office staffs, Army Band, Military Drivers, Military
Clerks, Aircraft Technicians and in Combat, Combat Support and Combat
Service Support Arms.
The policy for the management of women in uniform in the Nepalese Army
has continuously evolved through time. To address the issues of women
officers regarding career and welfare through one door policy, women
division has been established under the Military Secretary branch in 2010,
headed by deputy MS level officer.
Among the officers of the Nepalese Army, female officers in the general
service is 138 (which is 4.3% of total general service officers) while the
technical officers counts to 172 (which is 24.5% of total technical officers).
Junior Commission, Non- Commission Female Officers and other ranks include 1690 in general service and 265 in technical service.
Existing highest rank for women officers have been T/Brigadier General (2) in
the technical service and Captain (126) in the general service.
Listed below are some of the fields in
which women soldiers are on active duty as of Jan 15, 2014.