Women, Girls and War

Women and girls are underrepresented among combatants but overrepresented among the victims of armed conflict. According to the United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM], 70 percent of casualties in recent conflicts have been civilians, the majority of them women and children. With the breakdown of infrastructure in conflict zones, women’s struggles to provide food, water and care for their families and communities are exacerbated. Sexual exploitation, harassment and assault are common challenges for both women soldiers and civilians. Rape as a systemic weapon of armed conflict is now widely recognized as a war crime. The United Nations has passed numerous resolutions on women, peace and security (most notably UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which recognizes women’s multiple roles in war and peace) and, in 2008, passed Resolution 1820 calling for more stringent measures to combat sexual violence in armed conflict.

Review of Combat Stress in Women Veterans Receiving VA Health Care and Disability Benefits

As directed by the Conference Report to Accompany the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-117), we conducted a review to assess the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) capacity to address combat stress in women veterans. We assessed women veterans use of VA health care for traumatic brain injury (TBI), post­ traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health conditions, and whether the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) properly adjudicated women veterans’ disability claims for these conditions.
URL: 
http://www.va.gov/oig/52/reports/2011/VAOIG-10-01640-45.pdf

Self-Inflicted Deaths Among Women With U.S. Military Service: A Hidden Epidemic?

Prospective analyses of National Health Interview Survey and National Death Index data found an adjusted risk of suicide among male veterans twice that of nonveteran males (1). That study also examined data for 11 female veterans and 246 female nonveterans who completed suicide and found that women with past military service were more likely to complete suicide (adjusted hazard ratio=3.62, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.95–6.73)

URL: 
http://www.mentalhealthportland.org/?p=7725
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