US Army Chief of Staff General George Casey told the US Senate last week that the Pentagon will reassess the ban on women in the Army's infantry. He said, "I believe that it's time that we take a look at what women are actually doing in Iraq and Afghanistan and look at our policies," reported CNN.
The United States currently restricts women from direct combat roles in infantry positions or in the Special Forces. A 1994 Department of Defense directive banned women from units "whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground," reported CNN. Despite official military policy, women's participation in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has increasingly included direct combat. In contemporary warfare, there are no front lines.
John Nagl, an Iraq veteran and retired lieutenant colonel, told Agence France Presse "my best combat interrogator was a woman soldier, my best tank mechanic was a woman soldier." Army Sergeant Jennifer Hunt, who earned a purple heart in Iraq, told CNN "I do feel like I was in combat...I was engaged by the enemy when they exploded an IUD near my Humvee. You can't hit the pause button and say 'You know, I'm not supposed to be here, you know, don't shoot at me.'"
US Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced last week that the United States Navy plans to allow women on submarines for the first time. The policy will go into effect as early as mid-April unless Congress objects during a 30 day waiting period.
Media Resources: CNN 2/26/10; Agence France Presse 2/28/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 8/17/09, 2/24/10
10/13/2015 EEOC Launches Hollywood Gender Discrimination Probe - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has contacted several women directors in Hollywood in an effort to determine whether legal intervention is necessary to disrupt the industry's discriminatory hiring practices.
In a letter sent to some 50 women filmmakers, the EEOC - which is responsible for protecting individuals from employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion and national origin through enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - requested interviews with them to "learn more about the gender-related issues" women behind the camera face in both the film and television industries.
In May, following the release of a study by the San Diego State University Center for the Study of Women in Television in Film revealing only 7 percent of 2014's 250 top-grossing movies were helmed by women, the ACLU of Southern California and the national ACLU Women's Rights Project urged state and federal rights agencies to investigate Hollywood's failure to hire equal numbers of women. . . .
10/12/2015 Report Finds Texas' HB2 Increases Abortion Wait Times - A new report released by the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Policy Evaluation Project found patients seeking abortions in Texas have experienced an increase in wait times since the passage of HB2, the 2013 Texas omnibus anti-abortion bill that attempts to cut off abortion access by requiring abortion providers in the state to fulfill medically unnecessary ambulatory surgical center requirements and secure hospital admitting privileges.
More than half of 42 clinics providing abortion in Texas have been forced to shut their doors since HB2 passed two years ago, leading Texas women to wait up to 20 days for a first consult at one of the surviving 18 reproductive health clinics operating in the state, the second most populous in the nation. . . .
10/9/2015 Federal Judge Orders Anti-Abortion Group to Cede Footage to NAF - On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and its leader David Daleidan must turn over all previously unreleased "sting" videos and outtakes of National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings the group obtained surreptitiously as part of a smear campaign against the abortion provider.
U.S. . . .