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International Journal of Development in Social Sciences and Humanities

(By Aryavart International University, India)

International Peer Reviewed (Refereed), Open Access Research Journal

E-ISSN:2455-5142 | P-ISSN:2455-7730
Impact Factor(2020): 5.790 | Impact Factor(2021): 6.013

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Paper Details

Forsaking Careers to Follow: Trailing Military Spouses in India and Implications for Employment

Vol. 17, Jan-Jun 2024 | Page: 1-6

V Vijaya Sri
Department of Management, Arunodaya University, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh

Dr. Chandrashekhar V Joshi
Department of Management, Arunodaya University, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh

Received: 12-11-2023, Accepted: 02-01-2024, Published Online: 04-01-2024


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Abstract

Military families undergo frequent inter-state relocations between duty postings, resulting in disrupted career continuity for the accompanying non-service spouse. Termed “trailing spouses”, these partners endure stalled progression prospects, skills under-utilization, earning gaps and chronic underemployment. This article examines the trailing spouse dynamic in the context of Indian military families and its detrimental implications for spousal employment outcomes. Surveys reveal most Indian military spouses sacrifice personal career aspirations to support their partner’s mobile military service. The hardships of securing portable, fulfilling work near isolated postings leaves many struggling with identity issues and mental health stress. Beyond economic costs, unmet expectations coupled with reoccurring loss of professional status risks resentfulness that lowers motivation for the service member’s continued military tenure. With women comprising over 90% of Indian military spouses, lack of supportive policies also represent failure to address gender inequality and labor market barriers facing educated, skilled wives willing to contribute to national productivity. Though India lacks aggregate data, global research quantifies how military life limitations substantially handicap spousal earnings and advancement. This carries over into retirement hardships post-service. Creating customized interventions - spouse preferential hiring programs, transport access, vocational reskilling attuned to remote base job landscapes, subsidized childcare, telecommuting options, and cross-state certification portability can help empower families sustain career continuity across frequent relocations. Holistic reforms focused on military spouse employment can uplift national security, gender parity and collective economic progress.

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