Policy and practice for women’s participation in the Nepali Army is based on the national policy of gender equality and women empowerment. The Nepali 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 Nepali 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 Nepali Army, it has never before reached the proportions of today. Women’s participation in technical service in the Nepali Army also expanded continually as follows: Nurses (1961), Para folders (1965), Medical doctors (1969), Legal (1998), Engineering (2004) and Aviation (2011).
In 2004 when the country was fighting against insurgency, the Nepali 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 Nepali 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 Nepali Army, female officers in the general service is 183 while the technical officers counts to 214. Junior Commission, Non- Commission Female Officers and other ranks include 3334 in general service and 862 in technical service. Existing highest rank for women officers have been T/Brigadier General (3) in the technical service and Major (73) in the general service.
Listed below are some of the fields in which women soldiers are on active duty as of September 24, 2019.
|SN||Service||Brig Gen||Col||Lt Col||Maj||Act Maj||Capt||Act Capt||Lt||2nd Lt|
Source: Army Record Office (AG), Nepali Army