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
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .