The number of women in the military is growing and so is our population of women veterans. And we must support them.
Business and Professional Women's Foundation built on our continuing efforts to support women veterans by convening a Summit of government officials, leading employers and women veterans to find solutions on how to better prepare women veterans for their journey home.
While the issues facing women veterans have received more attention in 2010 than in the past, we're hoping this is just the starting point and that together in 2011we can truly find ways to support women veterans.
Here are the top 12 stories on women veterans from 2010.
12. Women World War II Pilots Finally Recognized. [Voice of America]
Over sixty-five years ago we each served our country without any expectation of recognition or glory. And we did it without compromising the values that we were taught as we grew up -- honor, integrity, patriotism, service, faith and commitment.
11. Traumatized Female Veterans Feel Short-Changed At the Build-For-Men VA. [ABC News]
Women have experienced the same psychological and emotional trauma as their male counterparts, but the VA has only begun to pay attention to their gender-specific needs.
10. Passage of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act. [Reading Eagle]
Women have never been treated equally in the military or by the Department of Veterans Affairs when they leave the service...The disparity between treatment of men and women in the military and the VA cannot be overstated...Most of the women don't even think of the VA as a benefit they deserve.
9. VA Helps Women Build Networks and Community. [U.S. Air Force]
VA officials have undertaken major initiatives to transform the department to meet the unique health care needs of women veterans and provide the best quality care at every VA medical center.
8. Mental Health Issues Differ for Male and Female Veterans. [U.S. News and World Report]
7. Homeless Women Veterans Need More Help. [Center for American Progress]
Female veterans are more likely to have a diagnosis of depression than are their male counterparts.
An estimated 107,000 veterans were without a home in 2009. About 10 percent of those were women. This group is greatly underresearched but their plight should be a significant issue on the national agenda.
6. VA Increasing Its Services to Women. [WaPo]
Until recently, some health clinics for veterans did not have separate bathrooms for women. Some doctors who treat returning service members haven't kept up with medical advances on issues from sexual trauma to prosthetics to menopause. Some Veterans Affairs computers still spit out data mistaking female veterans for wives of men who fought.
5. VA Scrambles to Serve Women Veterans. [NPR]
As recently as three years ago, only about a third of VA hospitals and clinics offered women's care. Hayes says that soon all of them, more than 1,000 facilities, will provide gender-specific treatment.
4. America is Failing Our Women Veterans. [Time]
More than 230,000 women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past nine years. Women account for 15% of the active-duty military. But when they arrive back home, become civilians once again and start seeking help for PTSD, musculoskeletal problems, reproductive disorders and other maladies, they are shuffled into a veterans' hospital system that can feel like a relic from World War I, back when the phrases our soldiers and our boys were interchangeable.
3. Women Veterans More Likely to Commit Suicide. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
The suicide rate among young female U.S. military veterans is nearly three times higher than among civilian women.
2. Study to Look at PTSD in Women Veterans. [The Epoch Times]
One of the biggest difficulties is the culture change back to civilian life. They feel lost because they think that others around them do not have the same experiences. Women veterans also find the lack of respect and recognition for their military service, especially their combat experience, as their primary transition challenge.
1. Women Veterans Face Unique Challenges. [PBS NewsHour]
I think that men and women process information differently and we suppress information differently. Women suppress it immediately, but because of needing to find a way back to normalcy.