The army accounts for 6,807 women officers, the air force 1,607 and the navy 704 women officers excluding those in the medical wing in which women have been serving since time immemorial. With more avenues being opened for them at a steady pace, the latest government figures showed that the headcount of women in the military has increased almost threefold in the past 6 years or so. There are 9,118 women currently serving the army, navy and air force, with the services giving them more opportunities to boost career progression, the government told Parliament on Monday. The headcount of women officers in the armed forces hovered around 3,000 in 2014-15. Since then, the government has taken active and much-needed measures to empower women, including allowing them to fly fighter planes, naval aircraft and giving them a permanent commission in different branches. These measures are undoubtedly paying off and the army accounts for 6,807 women officers, the air force 1,607 and the navy 704 women officers. In percentage terms, women still form a small part of the military\u20140.56% of the army, 1.08% of the air force and 6.5% of the navy. Minister of state for defence Shripad Naik told Rajya Sabha that there has been an increase in the number of women personnel in the armed forces (excluding medical, dental and nursing cadres) in 2020 compared to the previous year. He also added that the government has sanctioned 1,700 posts for women in Corps of Military Police (CMP) in the non-officer cadre. The CMP is the first cadre to induct women in the non-officer rank. One of the monumental junctures for women in the military came in 2015 when the IAF decided to induct them into the fighter stream. Not only that but The navy has also opened more avenues for women in recent years\u2014the first naval women were inducted as pilots of maritime reconnaissance aircraft in 2016. However, warships, tanks and combat positions in the infantry are still no-go zones for women, who were allowed to join the armed forces outside the medical stream for the first time in 1992. Last November, almost 70% of women officers who were considered for permanent commission in the army by a special selection board were selected to serve a full term in the army. Of the 615 women considered for permanent commission, 422 were found fit for the role. The board was convened months after the government issued a formal order in July 2020 granting permanent commission to women following a Supreme Court verdict. The government\u2019s July 23, 2020 order specified grant of permanent commission to women officers in 10 streams\u2014Army Air Defence (AAD), Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), Army Service Corps (ASC), Army Ordnance Corps (AOC), and Intelligence Corps in addition to the existing streams of Judge and Advocate General (JAG) and Army Educational Corps (AEC).