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Department of Defense

New Cases Challenge Women’s Exclusion from Combat

This Tuesday, a group of servicewomen and a non-profit organization filed suit in California against the Secretary of the Department of Defense (DoD), challenging the Department’s prohibition against women in direct ground combat as a violation of the federal equal protection clause. The prohibition is also being challenged in a lawsuit in the District of Columbia. The Center believes the ground combat exclusion, which is not legislative, should be revoked, and all military assignment should be opened to women. Today, women de facto perform the same military jobs as men in many instances without comparable training, recognition, and benefits. They deserve better. Read more »

The Military Child Care System Remains a Model for Improvement

The military child care system offers a model for providing high-quality, affordable, and accessible child care, as described in the National Women’s Law Center’s 2000 report, Be All That We Can Be: Lessons from the Military for Improving Our Nation’s Child Care System, and 2004 follow-up report. The reports showed that the military child care system provides an example for the civilian child care sector to follow in addressing gaps in the quality and availability of child care. A new study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) demonstrates that the military is continuing to work to expand the supply of high-quality care and make it more affordable for families.

Department of Defense (DoD) officials told GAO that families, particularly those with infants, often had difficulty finding child care due to waiting lists at many on-installation child development centers and a limited supply of eligible off-installation child care. DoD plans to address this shortage by constructing new child development centers that will add over 21,000 on-installation child care spaces, according to the GAO report. It is also taking steps to expand the availability of off-installation child care by increasing coordination with community-based providers and helping them meet DoD quality standards. Read more »