Galvanize Support for Women Veterans
Galvanize Support for #SheWhoBorneTheBattle
Over the past few years, there’s been a groundswell of support for women veterans’ issues. From health care access to reproductive health services to a seismic culture change within the veteran community, women veterans have rightly been focused on and elevated on Capitol Hill, inside the VA, and nationally. In 2017, IAVA launched our groundbreaking campaign, #SheWhoBorneTheBattle, focused on recognizing the service of women veterans and closing gaps in care provided to them by the VA. Ahead of the times, we made the bold choice to lead on an issue that was important to not just the 13% of our members that are women, but to our entire membership, the future of healthcare, and America’s national security. We fought hard for top-down culture change in the VA for the more than 345,000 women who have fought in our current wars–and for all Americans.
In 2020, the cornerstone of IAVA’s #SheWhoBorneTheBattle campaign, the IAVA-led Deborah Sampson Act, was passed into law after a nearly four-year campaign. This groundbreaking legislation includes several important provisions that will address sexual harassment and assault in VA facilities, establish an Office of Women’s Health directly under the Undersecretary of VA for Health, and improve access to care and benefits for survivors of Military Sexual Trauma (MST).
Women are currently the fastest-growing population in both the military and veteran communities, and their numbers have been growing steadily since the 1970s. And while more women are joining the military and are finally being given unprecedented roles in combat and greater responsibilities in leadership, veteran services and benefits often fall behind.
While the past few years has been encouraging in the display of growing interest in ensuring health care accessibility for women veterans at VA, increasing support for women veterans, and expanding services, there is still much work to be done.
IAVA's Policy Priorities
Select a topic from the list below to learn about IAVA’s policy recommendations for the 117th Congress.