She Who Borne the Battle

IAVA’s Campaign to Fully Recognize and Improve Services for Women Veterans

She Who Borne The BattleFor the last 14 years, IAVA has fought and won monumental victories on behalf of veterans. This year, we launched one of our most important campaigns ever: to recognize and improve services for women veterans.

The Problem

IAVA Soldier and girlNearly 345,000 women have deployed since 9/11. While the number of male veterans is expected to decline in the next decades, the population of women veterans will increase. Women continue to take on new roles and responsibilities throughout the services. Yet, their service and sacrifice is often overlooked.

Though the quality of care and services provided by the VA for all veterans needs to dramatically improve, this is particularly critical for women veterans. The number of women seeking care at the Department of Veterans Affairs has increased by 80%. While the VA has created a firm foundation of care for women veterans, it is past time that the VA, with the support of Congress, bring that foundation to scale.

Not only do women veterans encounter barriers to care and benefits, they do so in a culture that often does not accept them or fully recognize them as veterans. The time to act is now. Improving access to care and benefits while changing the underlying culture to one inclusive of women. This glaring problem is best exemplified in the gendered and very outdated motto that greets every person, male and female, who walk into the VA: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.”

IAVA’s extensive best-in-class research has shown the scope of the challenge.

IAVA Infographic Women in the Military

IAVA Has A Solution

IAVA WomenIAVA launched the She Who Borne the Battle campaign to right this wrong and transform the landscape for women veterans in our country forever. Learn more about the campaign (PDF).

We need to take the American people to a place where women vets are envisioned just as readily as men. Not every GI is a Joe, but our culture sadly still thinks that way. Congress must act to not only bring equality to VA healthcare for women, but also resource-sensible services like childcare. “Access to Quality Care for Our Veterans” should be gender blind, which in the case of supporting single parents, can impact men just as much as women.


  1. Foster Culture and Leadership Change in the VA
  2. Strengthen Data and Transparency Through Research
  3. Recognize and Support Women’s Peer Programs
  4. Increase Initiatives to Better Inform on Existing Programs
  5. Require High Level of Community Care Cooperation

We will change the VA motto to represent ALL veterans.

Phase 1 of She Who Borne the Battle:
Storm the Hill

Storm The Hill 2017 logo

IAVA Members and Staff will bring She Who Borne the Battle to Capitol Hill March 20-24, 2017. Learn more about Storm the Hill.

Phase 2 of She Who Borne the Battle:
The Deborah Sampson Act

IAVA joined Senators Tester and Boozman to introduce the Deborah Sampson Act, bi-partisan, comprehensive legislation to improve recognition and services for women veterans. IAVA members are working tirelessly to make sure the bill is quickly passed and signed by the President. Track the bill’s progress HERE.

Phase 3 of She Who Borne the Battle: Testimony Before Congress

IAVA Chief of Staff Allison Jaslow testified before Congress on March 22, 2017 on the importance of recognizing and providing services for women veterans. Watch her testimony here:


Recent News


Join the Campaign



Get Help Now — Rapid Response Referral Program

To be connected to one of our veteran transition managers, email and please include your name, location, and the issue you are seeking assistance with. Once you reach out, someone will be in touch within one business day to begin assisting you.

Rapid Response Referral Program

Get Help Now — Veterans Crisis Line

If you are experiencing a crisis you should immediately call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or text 838255.

Veterans Crisis Line

Discuss She Who Borne the Battle on IAVA’s Virtual Veterans Hall Now