WASHINGTON, D.C. – Thursday, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47) announced the creation of the Congressional Caucus on Women in the Military. Rep. Sanchez will act as Chair to the newly formed caucus, which will serve as an informal group dedicated to educating Members of Congress on the various challenges women face while serving in the military including sexual assault, availability of health service specific to the needs of service women and exclusion policies which hinder female service member’s professional growth as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces.
“As the highest ranking woman on the House Armed Services Committee, I have worked hard to make the military a safer and more equal institution for those who choose to dedicate their lives to serving our country,” said Sanchez. “By establishing the Congressional Caucus on Women in the Military, I hope to educate my colleagues on the unique challenges faced by female service members as they struggle to find their place in this traditionally male-dominated institution. I am excited to Chair this newly created Caucus and I look forward to sharing my perspectives with my colleagues as we work to open doors for the next generation of women in the military.”
Rep. Sanchez is committed to creating a safe and healthy environment for female service members. In the this year’s Defense Authorization Act, Rep. Sanchez is advocating for language barring military commanders of sexual assault victims from involvement in the prosecution and giving the victim the option to transfer to another unit immediately or at least to a Warrior Transition Unit while the case is being investigated. Rep. Sanchez also requested that service members convicted of sexual assault within the military justice system be placed on the sex offender registry.
Rep. Sanchez supports a thorough review of policies that hinder professional advancement for women in the military. Last Congress she offered an amendment to the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act directing the Secretary of Defense to give the military the authorization to assign members of the armed services to units based on the needs of the unit, regardless of gender.