The Twittersphere is gone into meltdown after an Indian army chief said that women are not suitable for combat roles since they have children to raise. Plus, male soldiers may be peering at them when they change clothes, he added.

A woman in the Indian army may not be perceived as a full-pledged commander, General Bipin Rawat told News18 TV channel in an interview released on Saturday. Many jawans – male soldiers – come from villages and for them a female commander is something from beyond their imagination.

Changing clothes in front of men seems to be quite a challenge for women who have to be “cocooned separately,” Rawat added. “She will say somebody is peeping, so we will have to give a sheet around her.”

Another problem for women in Rawat’s view is caring for her baby. “Do I put a restriction on her to say that in that command tenure you will not be given maternity leave? If I say that, there will be ruckus created,” he said.

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Also a woman may be killed in combat and leave her offspring behind, the Indian army chief noted. He drew an example of a female officer who was killed and left her 2-year-old child motherless. “[Her] parents are taking care of the baby. Now do you think we are ready for this?” he asked.

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