On Thursday, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat observed that the distinction between the role of men and women in warfighting is blurring.CDS Rawat’s remarks came during his welcome address at a webinar organised by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on ‘Role of Women in the Armed Forces today. “Today, the distinction between the role of men and women in warfighting is blurring.Women have proved their mettle in combat roles such as fighter pilots, paratroopers, submarines. They will continue to do so in future, too,” stated CDS Rawat.“Women today are serving the armed forces across the world. Women soldiers’ training in the Indian Army has been hard, and it has helped them in good strength to perform their tasks in various terrains,” he added.The Ministry of Defence hosted the international webinar in video conference mode, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh delivered the inaugural address at the webinar.The conference was initially planned with the physical presence of the representatives of the member states in the year 2020; however, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was conducted via video conferencing, as despite the pandemic, the interaction between the SCO member states remains essential.The Government of India has recognised women as proud and essential members of the Indian Defence forces and their potential to the Armed Forces. Accordingly, in the last seven years, the Government has taken several steps to bring in more opportunities for women in the Indian Defence forces and create equality in service conditions for women and men.Today, women are greatly empowered within the Indian Defence Forces, whether the Indian Army, Indian Navy or the Indian Air Force.