Women are the fastest-growing subpopulation of the military and veteran communities, representing more than 15 percent of active-duty military and 10 percent of veterans. Yet according to a landmark report being released by DAV (Disabled American Veterans), despite recent progress, some women veterans continue to face significant barriers accessing health care and other earned benefits, and do not receive proper recognition for their service to the nation.
DAVs’ new report, Women Veterans: The Journey Ahead, spotlights how the expanding role of women in our armed forces is necessitating changes to an array of policies and programs in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and other federal agencies. The report includes 45 key recommendations covering a broad range of issues affecting women veterans throughout their lifetime, including primary and gender-specific healthcare, mental health and readjustment services, and disability and employment benefits.
The DAV report found women veterans have a unique set of circumstances and needs compared to their male counterparts. For example, women veterans tend to be younger; more racially and ethnically diverse; more likely to be divorced; have child care responsibilities; less likely to be married; and five times more likely to be in a dual-service-member marriage than men. As a result, women veterans are less likely to have a family support system and often shoulder greater economic stress than their male counterparts.
Highlights and recommendations from the report include information on where the following areas currently stand and what DAV recommends:
- Comprehensive Primary Care
- Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
- Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
- Maternity Care
To read the entire report and recommendations once released, visit www.DAVWomenVeterans.org. DAV, a non-profit organization with more than 1 million members, empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served.