House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Launches Bipartisan Women Veterans Task Force

May 3, 2019 by Dan McCue

The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Thursday launched a new bipartisan Women Veterans Task Force to promote inclusivity and equitable access to resources, benefits, and healthcare to the more than two million women veterans living in the United States.

The Task Force will be chaired by Representative Julia Brownley, D-Calif., who is also the chair of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee.

“Women have served our nation in uniform since its earliest days, yet for far too long, the contributions and distinct challenges facing the growing population of female veterans have been forgotten or ignored,” Brownley said.

“My vision is for this Task Force to have a national presence and create a national dialogue where we can identify all of the inequities faced by women veterans and determine how we can tackle them through legislation and other means,” she added.

During a press conference on Thursday prior to a historic meeting House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs — the first to focus exclusively on women veterans, several members of the committee noted that women have served in the U.S. military since the Revolutionary War and today, comprise roughly 17 percent of serving military personnel.

They also make up 10 percent of the veteran population, and 30% percent of service academy students.

Women are also the fastest-growing subpopulation of both service members and veterans.

One of the overarching goals of the new task force is to increase their visibility, improve equity between male and female veterans, and ensure that women veterans have access to the resources, benefits, and healthcare they have earned and deserve.

“By launching the bipartisan Women Veterans Task Force we can begin to shed light on the issues the more than two million US women veterans face and prepare VA for the future,” said Representative Mark Takano, chairman of the committee.

Dr. Phil Roe, ranking member of the committee, agreed.

“As an obstetrician with more than 30 years of experience caring for women in private practice, women’s health has always been a priority of mine,” Roe said. “I am glad to see that, with the creation of this task force, Chairman Takano and Representative Brownley are making it a priority of theirs as well.

“With an increasing number of women veterans seeking care and benefits following their service, it is important that we break down any barriers that women face within VA and ensure that VA is a safe, welcoming place for them and all veterans in need of support,” the Tennessee Republican continued. “I look forward learning more about the goals and priorities that the task force will be pursuing in the coming months and to engaging in thoughtful discussions as a Committee about the unique issues women veterans are overcoming.”

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