The debate over women serving on board the U.S. Navy's submarine's has been revived by the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACWS), the Pentagon's advisory committee that recommends policies on issues women face in the armed services. "It's important we examine what is still closed to women," stated Mary Wamsley, chairwoman of DACWS, and deputy chief of police in Commerce City, CO.
Although women were admitted to the Naval Academy in 1976, women are still restricted from serving in 33,000 positions in the Navy, 25,000 of which are submarine positions. Opponents to the gender integration of naval submarines claim the cost of converting submarines to incorporate women. Also opponents of gender integration insist the experience of spending days or weeks submerged in tight quarters with no privacy makes service in submarines too prohibitive for women.
Wamsley dismissed those concerns stating, "It is ludicrous to say the living conditions and psychological conditions have more of an impact on women than on men." As it stands, the Navy has difficulty recruiting men to fill positions on submarines due to the more rigorous intellectual and psychological standards required. By allowing women, who constitute nearly 14 percent of naval personnel, to serve on submarines the pool of recruits would expand measurably.
Media Resources: New York Times - November 15, 1999
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. . . .