Common Defense Celebrates Women’s History Month

03/01/2022

WASHINGTON — Today marks the beginning of Women’s History Month, a month-long celebration of the impact and influence women have had across history. Common Defense joins this celebration by uplifting and honoring the women who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces.

Common Defense Executive Director Jose Vasquez released the following statement:

“Women have always played critical roles in the Armed Forces, well before they were officially recognized and allowed to enlist as full service members. They’ve been nurses, soldiers, engineers, pilots, intelligence officers, and so much more. Through these roles, they have shaped the course of history during and after their service.

“This month is about elevating the stories of women, but it’s also about bringing to light the barriers and trauma women–especially women of color and queer women–still experience in the Armed Forces today. There are high rates of sexual harassment and assault in the military, and while recent efforts have been made to address this issue, those efforts do not go nearly far enough. Service members and veterans deserve full reparations and justice for past harms as well as robust protection strategies to prevent future harm. Passage of comprehensive legislation like the kind proposed by Senator Kirsten Gilibrand, the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act (MJIIPA) would be one way to reduce future harm. 

“However, we need more than the MJIIPA. Women veterans have to contend with fewer opportunities for advancement in-service, and higher rates of homelessness than their male counterparts when they leave the military. For women whose identities intersect with other marginalized communities, including LGBTQ+ women and women of color, these struggles are compounded as they face multiple forms of oppression like racism, and homophobia. 

“We have come a long way, but we need to continue creating long-term solutions that address the specific issues women face during and after their service. As Women’s History Month begins, we commit to uplift women veterans’ stories, and we extend our deep appreciation to our women veterans whose commitment to protecting democracy well beyond their return from service is an inspiration to all of us, year-round.” 

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