The number of homeless female veterans has doubled in the past decade, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), even though the overall number of homeless veterans has decreased. Current estimates indicate there are 6,500 homeless women veterans.
Women veterans are now two to four times more likely than women civilians to be homeless, reported the Boston Globe. Young women veterans are especially affected: women account for nine percent of homeless vets under the age of 45.
A report (see PDF) issued in January by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America notes that homeless female veterans have been impacted differently by their service than their male counterparts. Severe mental health issues disproportionately affect women veterans. On average, women veterans also earn lower salaries than their male counterparts. In addition, forty percent of homeless women veterans reported being sexually assaulted by a fellow service member.
In an effort to combat homelessness for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veteran Affairs announced the allocation of $75 million last month to provide rental housing and support for homeless veterans.
Media Resources: Boston Globe 7/6/09, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America 1/09; Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veteran Affairs Press Release 6/18/09
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .