Women Veterans Health Care
Women have volunteered to serve in the U.S. military since the American Revolution, and yet, all too often that service has gone unrecognized. They served in combat, disguised as men during the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars, pilots during World War II and today they are in logistics, munitions, pilots, commanders, and other military occupational specialties. While there is still work to be done, today the needs of women Veterans are considered more than ever before in history.
Women currently make up 10% of the Veteran population and the population of women Veterans has been growing steadily each year. Most female Veterans alive today served during the Gulf War II and during peacetime. In fact, women comprise 20% of Gulf War II Veterans – those who served after 9/11. Today, there are over 2 million women Veterans in the U.S. By 2043, it is expected that nearly 17% (2.4 million) of Veterans will be women.
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. Women Veterans have careers in transportation, teaching and education, law enforcement, healthcare and nursing, government, retail, and engineering, to name a few. The percentage of women Veterans working in management and professional occupations is about 8% higher than that of 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.
While we must continue efforts to address the needs of women Veterans, we must also ensure women Veterans are valued and respected.. Both in deployment and at home, female Veterans face challenges their male counterparts don’t. The mental, physical, and military service needs of women are often very different from those of male Veterans.
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, all women Veterans deserve the support and respect that they have earned through their service.
About Women Veterans
Women are now the fastest-growing subgroup of U.S. Veterans. The number of women Veterans is expected to increase dramatically in the next 10 years, and VA health care services are in high demand by the women Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Department of Veterans Affairs understands the health care needs of women Veterans and is committed to meeting these needs. Women Veterans served and they deserve the best quality care. Learn more about VA health care services for women Veterans.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics accessed at: http://www.va.gov/vetdata/Veteran_Population.asp
 U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey PUMS, 2011 Prepared by the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics