South Asia News

Nepalese women train to join British Army Gurkhas

Dozens of young Nepali women who hope to join the elite Gurkha regiment of the British Army took part in a rigorous training and exercise session in Kathmandu on Monday.

Dec 4, 2018
KATHMANDU:  Dozens of young Nepali women who hope to join the elite Gurkha regiment of the British Army took part in a rigorous training and exercise session in Kathmandu on Monday. Until last summer, such a sight would have been impossible, due to a ban on women serving with elite Gurkha regiments. 
 
But since British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced in July 2017 that training centres would start welcoming female applicants, hundreds of young women had signed up in the hopes of serving in the elite Gurkha squads.
 
"Since then, we have been receiving a significant number of young women in our training centre," Ramesh Pandey, manager of Salute Gorkha Training Centre, told Efe news. 
 
"Currently, we are training around 30 women and the numbers are expected to rise," he said.
 
The British Army has been recruiting 250 men every year, with hundreds of hopefuls competing to join the elite ranks.
 
The first women recruits will arrive in Britain for training in 2020. The decision to recruit female aspirants from Nepal for the Brigade of Gurkhas' infantry regiment followed the British Army's plans to expand the ranks of 3,000 troops by 800.

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