The Indian Air Force has announced that it will soon have women fighter pilots in the sky.

The role of women in armed forces in India has been under much debate and scrutiny. Many countries around the world employ women in fighting units, and the armed forces is seen as a gender-bending institution.

The first woman to fly a plane in India was Sarla Thakral, who flew a plane at age 21 way back in the year 1936.

Sarla Thakral, First Woman Pilot of India - Late 1930'sHowever, the number of women in the Indian armed forces is not exactly what you’d call vibrant, with 3% women in the Army and Navy, but a much higher 8% in the Air Force. When he was asked about the role of women in the armed forced, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar expressed some doubts about it.

“No. Think of what can happen if a woman is taken as a prisoner in combat operation,??? Manohar Parrikar, India’s defence minister, had said in May this year, ruling out the inclusion of women in combat operations.

With this decision, India joins a club of countries that allow women fighter pilots into the battlefield. This list includes the United States of America, Isreal, and …surprise, surpise…Pakistan!