Pentagon Restricts Role of Women’s Advisory Committee
The Pentagon has fired all Clinton-appointed members of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) and created a new charter for the 51-year old committee that restricts its advisory role. Instead of advising Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on “the full range of matters,” DACOWITS will now report on only “specified matters” determined by the Pentagon, according to the Washington Times. The Pentagon has also ended the relationship of 30 service representatives to DACOWITS and has forbidden DACOWITS from conducting site visits to independently picked U.S. military installations. The Pentagon will now determine where the new DACOWITS panel is allowed to visit.
The Pentagon is now choosing new members of DACOWITS. The Washington Times reports that all members will now be required to have been in the military or to be in a military family. The Pentagon is not making a commitment to ensuring that women are adequately represented on the panel, and officials have said that there will be “no predetermined ratio” of men to women on the panel.
Reactionary anti-feminist groups had been urging the Bush Administration to dismantle DACOWITS altogether, even though the committee has helped increase women’s participation in military service over a period of decades. The Pentagon’s new reconstruction of DACOWITS comes just as a federal district court ruled that the U.S. Army’s promotional affirmative action policy was unconstitutional and disadvantaged white males. As of 1997, women made up only 14% of the Army. In that same year, an Army report found that “sexual harassment exists throughout the army” and that “sex discrimination is more common than sexual harassment.”
Media Resources: Washington Times, 3/6/02; Feminist Daily News Wire, 3/5/02
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .