The United States Navy plans to allow women on submarines for the first time, military officials announced yesterday. According to the Los Angeles Times US Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates informed Congress Monday of the Navy's intended policy change. The policy will go into effect as early as mid-April unless Congress objects during a 30 day waiting period.
Due to the lifting of some combat bans in 1993, women in the Navy have been able to serve on surface combat ships and combat aircrafts. They have not been not allowed to serve on submarines, in part due to living space issues. In the past, the Navy claimed the high cost of separate accommodations as the reason for the ban, reported the LA Times.
However, Missouri Representative and Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Ike Skelton (D) stated that the current "decision to allow women to serve on submarines will present challenges, but these challenges should not be insurmountable for the Navy," according to the LA Times. Service on a nuclear submarine requires great expertise and the Navy no longer wanted to limit its prospective applicant pool.
Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former Navy chief of operations, first requested the change in testimony to Congress last year. At the time, he stated that he hoped to "continue to broaden opportunities for women" in the military.
According to the Daily Mail, US Army Chief of Staff General George Casey also told the U.S. Senate Tuesday that the ban on women in the Army's infantry will be reassessed, particularly due to women's demonstration of combat skill in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Media Resources: LA Times, 2/24/2010; Daily Mail 2/24/2010; Feminist Daily News 9/28/2009
7/29/2014 Extensive Female Genital Mutilation Study To Be Conducted in the US - The Obama administration plans to conduct a large study on female genital mutilation (FGM) to try to assess how many girls and women in the US are at risk, and how many have already experienced, FGM.
According to experts, FGM tends to take place during summer break when parents take their daughter outside of the country for the practice.
Jaha Dukureh, a 24-year-old woman who grew up in Gambia, experienced FGM there, and then child marriage in the US, started a petition that gained more than 220,000 supporters. . . .
7/29/2014 Women Just Won Big In Mississippi - Feminist Majority Foundation leaders are elated by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider) law that would have closed the only abortion clinic in the state. . . .