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Sexual Assault Survivors Are Pushing the U.S. Military to Have Its Me Too Moment

May 29, 2018

May 28, 2018: Just this past week retired Staff Sgt. Merci McKinley joined Service Women’s Action Network staff and other members on Capitol Hill to talk with Members of Congress about their personal experiences and key issues facing military women due to the Pentagon’s recent release of its annual report on sexual assault in the military. Merci served in the US Army for 13 years and was deployed to Iraq four times. During that time, she was raped by fellow soldiers. Today Merci advises other victims and advocates on their behalf. To hear more about Merci’s experiences and her efforts on behalf of service women, please click on the Vice News link below.

https://video.vice.com/en_us/video/the-military-is-still-waiting-for-its-metoo-reckoning/5ae0cda4f1cdb370c71e12a1

The video highlights the disheartening news that 15,000 service members have suffered sexual assault in 2016, an increase of 10%. Although the military continues to claim that the increase is due to sexual assault victims’ confidence in the system, the conviction rate resulting from their reports has continued to decline for the last three years. Not only are perpetrators not being held accountable, but 40% of assault victims indicate personal or professional retaliation after coming forward. Since 2013 Senator Kirsten Gillebrand has been pushing a bill, The Military Justice Improvement Act, that would turn sexual assault cases over to independent military prosecutors.  So far Senator Gillebrand has not succeeded in getting the bill to the floor.

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Women Working For Peace – The Story Of Ghanian Battalion

NEWS
January 11, 2019

January 11, 2019: Women play a vital role in United Nations peacekeeping operations. From conducting patrols, to providing medical assistance and interacting with the communities, UN women peacekeepers not only serve in furthering peace, they also serve as great role models. UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) is one of the peacekeeping missions where currently roughly five per cent of its some 10,300 peacekeepers are women. That is a slight increase from nearly four percent in 2010, and the Mission, mandated by the UN Security Council, is putting added emphasis to bring numbers up.Among UNIFIL’s current 42 troop-contributing countries, and with 105 women in uniform, the Republic of Ghana is leading the way with the highest number of women peacekeepers. This is about 12 per cent of the Ghanaian Battalion’s total strength in UNIFIL.

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CYPRUS: First Time in UN History a Mission and Peace Force is Led by Women

NEWS
January 11, 2019

January 11, 2019: When UN chief of mission Elizabeth Spehar, welcomed new commander of the peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Major General Cheryl Pearce from Australia, it was a landmark in United Nations history. It's the first time that the top three positions in a UN peacekeeping mission - civilian, military and police - have all been held by women.

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How Women Took Over the Military-Industrial Complex

NEWS
January 4, 2019

January 3, 2019: For the first time, the nation's defense hierarchy is no longer dominated by men. From the executive leadership of top weapons-makers, to the senior government officials designing and purchasing the nation’s military arsenal, the United States’ national defense hierarchy is, for the first time, largely run by women.

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