Women Veterans Health Care
"The defense of our nation is a shared responsibility. Women have served in the defense of this land for years before our United States was born. They have contributed their talents, skills and courage to this endeavor for more than two centuries with an astounding record of achievement that stretches from Lexington and Concord to the Persian Gulf and beyond." Retired Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, Chief of Staff of the Army, 1991-1995
Women have volunteered and answered the call to serve in the U.S. military since the American Revolution. They were disguised as men during the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars; served as pilots during World War II; and today they answer the call in combat, logistics and most other military occupational specialties at all ranks. This level of service means the needs of women Veterans are greater than ever before.
Women currently make up 10% of the Veteran population and constitute approximately 20%of new recruits. Most women Veterans alive today served during the Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) and during peacetime. In fact, women comprise 20% of OEF/OIF Veterans - those who served after 9/11. Today, there are over two million women Veterans in the U.S. By 2043, it is expected nearly 17% (2.4 million) of Veterans will be women. In the past year, a broad policy change across the military opened all combat roles to qualified women and in April 2016, President Obama named Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson the first women commander of a combatant command in U.S. history.
While women comprise 10% of Veterans, they comprise 13% of Veterans in today's civilian workforce. In fact, women Veterans are more likely to be in the civilian labor force than male Veterans or women non-Veterans.  The percentage of women Veterans working in management and professional occupations is about 8% higher than non-Veteran women. A lower percentage of women Veterans work in service occupations, such as food service, janitorial, and childcare, than women non-Veterans. About 38% of women Veterans work for local, state, or Federal government, compared to 18% of non-Veteran women.
In order to address the needs of women Veterans, it is critical that women Veterans are valued and respected. VA's ability to serve women Veterans starts with recognizing their service and their unique needs.
In a recent study, only 37% of women Veterans indicated they felt "recognized, respected and valued as Veterans in civilian life." After all that they have done and continue to do, women Veterans deserve the support and respect they have earned through their service. Equal service, deserves equal experience and satisfaction with care!
 U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans Employment & Training Services, Women Veterans Employment accessed at: https://www.dol.gov/vets/womenveterans/women-vets.htm
 U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey PUMS, 2011 Prepared by the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics