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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
August 1994 US Report to UN on Status of Women 1985-1994
GLOBAL CONFERENCE SECRETARIAT
[Section 5 of 5]
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
WHERE WE WERE IN 1985
By 1985, there had emerged within the U.S. a public discourse on
violence against women, which recognized -- for the first time -- the
acute danger of physical and sexual violence that many women faced in
their own homes. Federal statistics offer the following picture of
violence in America during the years 1979-1987:
o Women were generally less likely than men to be crime victims -- The
average annual rate at which women fell victim to a non-lethal violent
crime (defined as including rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and
simple assault) was 25.8 per 1,000 persons -- or approximately three-
fifths the average annual rate of non-lethal violent victimization
(45.1) for men. The rate of homicide victimization during 1980-1984 was
likewise lower for women than for men (3.61 per thousand for women,
compared to 12.40 per thousand for men), however, homicide is by far the
most frequent manner in which women workers are fatally injured.
o Rate of female victimization remained constant through 1987 --
Whereas men's rate of non-lethal violent victimization decreased
approximately 20% from 1973 through 1987, the rate at which women fell
victim to violent crime essentially remained constant.
o Greatest risks to women were sexual assault and domestic violence --
Although women were less likely than men to be victims of violent crime
generally, they were eight times more likely than men to be victims of
sexual assault and three times more likely than men to be victims of
violence perpetrated by family members or intimates (including spouses,
ex-spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends). Therefore, whereas addressing
the problem of violence against men mainly involves addressing the
causes of random violence perpetrated by strangers, addressing the
problem of violence against women requires development of strategies
aimed at combating the unique issues surrounding sexual assault and
o Low-income and minority women were most at risk -- African American
women experienced non-lethal violent crime at a rate 44% higher than
that of women of other races, and Hispanic women were 19% more likely to
be non-lethal violent crime victims than non-Hispanic women. In
homicide comparisons, race disparities were even more marked. African
American women from 1980-1984 were five times more likely than white
women to be victims of homicide.
Likewise, low-income women were twice as likely to be victims of
non-lethal violent crime than were women with high family incomes.
Women younger than the age of 35 experienced significantly higher rates
of crime than men or women over the age of 35.
o Abortion clinics and health care clinics offering abortions services
have been increasingly subject to acts of violence -- acts that target
doctors, staff, patients, volunteers and the facilities. Three doctors
and a clinic escort have been murdered in the past 17 months. The
violence and intimidation has forced some clinics to close and some
health providers to quit, leaving many women who depend on these clinics
without alternative health care services. Of the 281 clinics
participating in a 1993 Feminist Majority Foundation Clinic Violence
Survey, 50.2% experienced anti-abortion violence. These violent acts
included death threats (21%), stalking (14.9%), arson (1.8%, bomb
threats (18.1%), invasions (14.6%), and blockades (16%),. Most of these
clinics, 93.6% offered health care services in addition to abortion,
including birth control, cancer screening, infertility treatment and
By 1985, public awareness of and response to violence against women had
risen dramatically. Shelters organized by volunteers and often run out
of private homes had begun to open their doors to battered women in
1974; by 1985, many of these shelters received federal assistance and
occupied large facilities. (It is estimated that only two shelters
existed in the U.S. in 1974; by 1984, that number had risen to 780.)
Private non-governmental organizations, such as the National
Organization for Women and the National Coalition Against Domestic
Violence, undertook advocacy on behalf of battered women, and began to
articulate the need for research into the problem as well as for federal
and state funding of local assistance services.
A public opinion poll released by the Family Violence Prevention Fund in
April 1993 revealed that nearly nine out of ten Americans (87%) say that
women being beaten by their husbands or boyfriends is a serious problem
facing many families, and more than one in three Americans (34%) report
directly witnessing an incident of domestic violence. For the first
time, the American public no longer blames the woman or excuses the man,
and most Americans no longer accept the excuse that "he was drunk." The
poll found that the vast majority of Americans believe that domestic
violence can be prevented, but they don't know how to get involved.
ADVANCEMENT SINCE THEN
Many of the current programs and policies designed to address violence
against women are only recently underway, and thus their impact is
perhaps yet to be felt. Indeed, an analysis of the most recently
available statistics (for 1987-1991) on violence against women suggests
that modest statistical progress had been made since 1985:
o The non-lethal annual violent crime victimization rate for women
declined modestly -- In 1991, the female rate of non-lethal violent
crime victimization was 22.9 per thousand women, compared with the
average annual rate of 25.8 from 1979-1987. The average annual rate of
female violent victimization from 1987-1991 was 24.8 per thousand, thus
indicating that the female violent crime victimization rate declined
more in 1991 than in 1987-1991 as a whole. This perhaps suggests that
the victimization rate could decline further as the effect of the more
recent federal programs is felt.
o The rate of female violent victimization declined less than the rate
of male violent victimization -- The average annual rate of violent
victimization for men declined 10% between 1979-1987 and 1987-1991 (from
45.1 per thousand to 40.5 per thousand), whereas the average annual rate
of violent victimization for women declined less than 4% during the same
period (from 25.8 per thousand in 1979-1987 to 24.8 per thousand in
o Women remain more likely than men to be attacked by intimates and
acquaintances and to be raped -- Whereas women in 1979-1987 were three
times more likely than men to be victims of violent intimates, in 1987-
1991 they experienced over 10 times as many incidents of violence by an
intimate than did men. In the U.S., domestic violence is the leading
cause of injury to adult women, according to a 1989 report by the
Surgeon General. Nine of ten female homicides are committed by men,
half of them by the woman's partner. A rape is committed every six
minutes. [The Global Campaign for Women's Human Rights. "Gender Based
Violence: Some Facts of the Matter"] An estimated 31.7 million women
(22%) have been victims of sexual assault, and two-thirds of them were
assaulted before the age of 18. Some 5 million assaulted women
currently suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which can last a
lifetime when left untreated. Rape, domestic violence and childhood
abuse substantially increase the risk of other trauma-related disorders,
including depression, anxiety, suicide attempts, substance abuse, eating
disorders, and sexually transmitted diseases. [HHS, Confronting Violence
o Racial disparities in the rate of female violent victimization
declined modestly -- In 1987-1991, African American women experienced
violent crime victimization at a rate 36% higher than white women; in
1979-1987, the rate was 44% higher for African American women.
FEDERAL ACTION -- LEGISLATION
Following the rising public awareness, federal and state legislation has
been enacted to address the problem of violence against women:
The Criminal Justice Response:
Investigation, Prosecution, and Adjudication -- In 1985, most of the
governmental policies designed to address violence against women focused
on the criminal justice response by seeking to investigate, prosecute,
and adjudicate rapists and domestic abusers in the same manner as other
criminals. These legal and criminal justice measures were designed to
take seriously the types of violence to which women are most often
o Mandatory Arrest of Domestic Violence Perpetrators -- Historically,
domestic violence incidents were treated by the criminal justice system
as private matters that should be left to a husband and wife to work
out. Law enforcement agencies often responded to incidents of domestic
violence by "mediating" the dispute rather than arresting the offender.
In response to the proven ineffectiveness of the traditional approach,
the 1984 Final Report of the Attorney General's Task Force on Family
Violence asserted that "the legal response to family violence must be
guided primarily by the nature of the abusive act, not the relationship
between the victim and the abuser." The 1984 Final Report advocated the
implementation of mandatory arrest policies, which require the arrest of
an offender by law enforcement when there is probable cause that abuse
has occurred. Mandatory arrest policies are, today, on the books in
nearly one-third of all states; the preferred response to domestic
violence, as currently reflected in the statutory language of virtually
all states -- is arrest. Many states also enacted legislation that
specifically identified domestic violence as a definable crime with its
o Protection from threatening behavior -- States created civil
protection measures intended to prevent threatening behaviors, such as
harassment, that could lead to future violence. Armed with civil
protection orders (which an individual could obtain without legal
representation), a victim had the legal means, for example, to bar the
offender from the home or establish conditions for safe child
visitation. In 1983, only 17 states provided protection against abuse
by an unmarried partner living as a spouse; by 1988, 39 states provided
for that kind of protection. (By 1993, virtually all states had enacted
some form of civil protection legislation.) Furthermore, following the
1984 civil judgement in the case of Thurman v. City of Torrington, which
held that police could be held civilly liable for failure to respond
adequately to domestic violence, the law enforcement response to
domestic violence came under further scrutiny. The multimillion dollar
damages awarded in that case prompted the states to provide, through
legislation, for law enforcement training on domestic violence response.
o Rape legislation reform -- In 1974, the state of Michigan had passed
the first law that represented a break from the traditional view of sex
crimes. The traditional view of rape held, for example, that a woman's
attire might have provoked the crime; that she had to offer proof of
physical resistance to the assault; that the court had a right to
scrutinize her character and prior sexual conduct in determining whether
a crime had been committed. In the decade between 1974 and 1984, all
states passed some form of rape legislation reform. These reforms
generally consisted of the following: a redefinition and grading system
for criminal acts; gender neutralization of language (which recognized
that males are also victims of sexual violence); the imposition of
mandatory sentences for subsequent offenses; change in resistance
standards, and repeal of requirements for corroborating testimony;
redefinition of force; elimination of the need for proof of
"nonconsent"; elimination of the marital rape exemption, which enabled
prosecution of sexual assault by the victim's spouse; and rape shield
laws, which protected the victim's privacy by rendering inadmissible,
information about her lifestyle, conduct, or sexual history. In 1986,
Congress enacted the Sexual Abuse Act, which reformed federal laws on
rape and extended their reach to other sex offenses. The Act's reforms
paralleled many earlier state reforms.
o "Battered woman syndrome" defense -- Congress enacted the Battered
Women's Testimony Act of 1992, which promotes the use of expert
witnesses in criminal trials of battered women who have assaulted or
killed their abusers. It also authorizes grants to organizations for
collecting and analyzing information on the experiences of battered
women and expert testimony about their psychological state.
o Anti-stalking legislation -- Forty-eight states have enacted anti-
stalking legislation since 1990. These laws typically define stalking
as willful, malicious and repeated following and harassing of another
person. In 1993, Congress legislatively directed the Attorney General to
develop and distribute among the states a "constitutional and
enforceable" model anti-stalking code. This model code was published in
October 1993, together with a profile of existing state stalking
statutes, an overview of police agencies' current management of stalking
incidents, and discussion and recommendations concerning bail and
sentencing for states' consideration.
o Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) -- In May 1994,
President Clinton signed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act
(FACE) into law. This Act provides protection from force, threat of
force, or physical obstruction for those seeking or providing abortions.
The Act provides strong federal jurisdiction over anti-abortion
violence, and enacts stiff federal penalties for those who engage in
Victims' Rights and Treatment -- Also growing was an awareness and
desire to recognize the rights of victims to fair and sensitive
treatment by the criminal justice system, compensation for out-of-pocket
losses arising from the crime (such as lost wages, forensic
examinations, and funeral expenses), and support services such as
counselling and shelters.
o Protection of victims and witnesses within the criminal justice
system -- In 1982, Congress enacted the Victim and Witness Protection
Act, which articulated the specific responsibilities of federal
prosecutors to victims. These responsibilities included protection from
intimidation and harassment, as well as the provision of restitution and
assistance. Although the Act's reach is limited to victims of federal
crimes, its provisions apply to American Indian victims of domestic and
sexual violence, whose assistance needs had not previously been formally
o Victims' Compensation -- In 1984, Congress enacted the Victims of
Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984, which created a Crime Victims Fund in the U.S.
Treasury and authorized the newly created Office for Victims of Crime to
use Fund monies for victim assistance and compensation programs at the
state level. Under the Act's original language, services for victims of
domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse, were to receive
priority funding consideration. (This provision, although modified,
remains in effect today.)
o Medical Services for Rape Victims -- In 1984, the President's Task
Force on Victims of Crime issued its Final Report, a blueprint of 68
recommendations to improve the treatment of crime victims by all sectors
of society. The report presented as its illustration of the typical
crime victim experience, the account of a sexual assault survivor whose
participation in the criminal justice process is a traumatizing rather
than healing process. One of the Final Report's major recommendations
was that victims of sexual assault not be required to pay the costs
associated with medical forensic exams. (Four years later, a report
issued by the Department of Justice, found that, as of 1986, nearly half
the states required victims to pay for these exams. Today, virtually
all states cover the costs of medical forensic exams for victims of
sexual assaults.) The Final Report also called for the enactment of
Federal legislation to address the rights and needs of all crime
o AIDS testing of sexual assault offenders -- States have responded
legislatively to the AIDS epidemic, the threat of which compounds the
trauma and fear experienced by the victims of sexual assault and abuse.
Sixteen states specifically authorize the involuntary pre-conviction
AIDS testing of accused offenders, two states allow voluntary pre-
conviction testing, and twenty states authorize post-conviction testing
Prevention, Education, and Intervention -- In 1985, the Surgeon General
issued a major report identifying sexual and domestic violence as a
major health problem for women. Also at the federal level, Congress
enacted significant legislative measures to fund prevention and
assistance services for women victims of violence. These measures,
administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, consisted
of the following:
o The Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant Act, Title XIX
of the Public Health Services Act, reserved $3.5 million in fiscal years
1985 through 1987 for rape prevention and services to rape victims.
o The Social Services Block Grant Act, Title XX of the Social Security
Act, appropriated $2.7 billion for fiscal years 1985 and 1987 and $2.6
billion in fiscal year 1986 for general and special protective and
health support services, including prevention of neglect, abuse, and
exploitation of children and adults. In fiscal year 1985, a special
one-time appropriation of $25 million was set aside for training child
care operators in the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
o The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act appropriated $6
million in fiscal 1985 for grants to States for local public agencies
and nonprofit organizations for family violence prevention projects,
shelters, and other assistance to victims of family violence. In fiscal
year 1986, the appropriation was $25 million, and in fiscal year 1987,
it was $8.5 million.
Federal funding for services was complemented by monies made available
at the state levels. By 1985, many shelter programs for battered women
were no longer operated out of homes, but rather, were part of an
extensive network of services that were made operable by public funds.
FEDERAL ACTION -- RESEARCH
A number of ground-breaking studies, on such issues as the effectiveness
of mandatory arrest, were supported by funds from the National Institute
of Justice. A number of federally funded research efforts are currently
underway. These efforts are designed to gather accurate information
about the extent of the problem of violence against women, to develop
new methods for prevention and reduction of such violence, and to
improve the administration of criminal justice. Efforts to evaluate the
effectiveness of existing programs are also underway.
The National Institute on Mental Health focuses considerable attention
on gender-related prevention research. Areas of investigation include:
1) the mental health needs of women who are victims of sexual and
physical abuse--as children and as adults; 2) the range of psychological
effects of family violence; and 3) the effectiveness of various
treatment modalities for mental health disorders among women.
FEDERAL ACTION -- PROGRAM AND POLICIES
In the past decade, public commitment to addressing the problem of
violence against women has only grown. Indeed, societal violence of all
kinds is currently receiving a great deal of attention in the United
States. For the first time in modern polling history, crime was listed
by respondents in a January 1994 USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll as being the
most important domestic problem facing the United States.
With the increased concern about violence in general, governmental and
private entities have begun increasingly to focus on methods to prevent
violence, such as education, as well as on the criminal justice response
to violence. Indeed, current programs and policies designed to address
violence, and violence against women in particular, are devoting
substantial portions of their resources to violence prevention. The
following outlines current major programs and policies designed to
combat violence against women:
Prevention, Education, Intervention
-- Federal funding for sexual assault and domestic abuse prevention and
education -- An assortment of federal funding mechanisms exist for
sexual assault prevention and education efforts at the state and local
levels. For example, as part of its overall effort to combat violence,
the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) supports a broad range
of activities designed to prevent sexual assault and assist victims, and
the Department of Education operates under a number of authorizations
for sexual assault prevention education. In 1994, the National Center
for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention received over $7 million to launch the Prevention of Violence
Against Women Initiative, a five-year campaign to prevent physical and
sexual abuse by partners, acquaintances, and strangers. HHS Social
Services in FY 1994, will spend $27.7 million through the Administration
for Children and Families in support of state and local programs to
prevent family violence and provide temporary shelter and other
assistance to victims and their dependents. HHS' Administration on
Aging will spend $4.6 million supporting efforts to prevent abuse of
older persons the majority of whom are women.
-- Systematic data collection remains inadequate. Domestic violence
incidents and arrests are not collected for the FBI's Uniform Crime
Reports. The Department of Justice's National Crime Survey does not
separate violence against women in the home from other workplace and
familial violence incidents.
-- Campus sexual assault education -- The Higher Education Amendments
of 1992 required colleges and universities receiving federal student
financial assistance funds to develop education programs to promote the
awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, and other sex offenses.
-- Federal support for families -- In an effort to curb domestic
violence, the Clinton Administration significantly increased the
resources of the federal Family Preservation and Family Support Program,
which provides $1 billion over five years to fund family support
programs such as community-based family resource centers or home
visiting programs. These family support programs are designed to work
with families before a crisis occurs, to promote the well-being of
children and families by enhancing family functioning and early
childhood development, and to intervene with families where children are
experiencing maltreatment or other family crises. In addition, the
federal government funds the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act
programs, which funds local prevention activities, as well as a number
of state and community-based initiatives designed to combat domestic
-- Community-based public education/media campaigns -- The Family
Violence Prevention Fund (FUND), based in San Francisco, has developed
the first national campaign to promote prevention and intervention on
domestic violence. Sponsored by the National Advertising Council and
selected to be its major public education initiative for the next
several years, the FUND's THERE'S NO EXCUSE campaign will give the issue
of domestic violence unprecedented visibility: the Ad Council arranges
for millions of dollars of donated media space, enabling the message to
appear in national newsmagazines, on prime time network television, in
national and local newspapers, and on radio stations across the country.
In addition to the campaign messages, a national toll-free number is
publicized on each of the ads, and callers receive a Community Action
Kit that suggests specific local strategies they can enact to reduce and
prevent domestic violence in their own communities. The Oakland Men's
Project (Oakland, California) is a community organizing and training
center dedicated to stopping violence against women.
Criminal Justice System
-- Sensitive treatment by criminal justice personnel of sexual assault
and domestic abuse victims -- The Department of Justice has funded
national-scope training and technical assistance on the use of multi-
disciplinary teams in the investigation of both adult and child sexual
assault and abuse cases. A multi-disciplinary approach that is victim-
centered mitigates possible secondary trauma to the victim by minimizing
repetitive and intrusive interviews and keeping the victim informed of
key criminal justice proceedings.
-- Gender Balance In Policing -- The Los Angeles City Council this
year ratified a policy requiring Los Angeles Police Academy classes to
be at least 43.4% women. Data show that increasing the number of women
in law enforcement improves police responsiveness to domestic violence,
reduces police brutality, and facilitates implementation of community
-- Training of law enforcement professionals -- A number of federal
agencies have provided funding to train criminal justice professionals
(including judges, agents, prosecutors, and correctional officials) on
identifying abusive situations, responding effectively to domestic
abuse and sexual assault situations, and treating victims sensitively.
-- Truth in Sentencing -- In practice, many domestic abusers and sexual
assault perpetrators do not receive adequate penalties because of
lenient sentencing or overly broad early release mechanisms. The
federal government has addressed these problems by adopting truth in
sentencing reforms for all federal cases -- under which offenders must
actually serve at least 85% of the prison term imposed by the court --
and by prescribing severe penalties for sexual abuse offenses in the
federal sentencing guidelines.
Victims' Rights and Treatment
-- Medical treatment of victims -- The federal government has assisted
the formulation of an improved response by medical practitioners to
victims in emergency room settings. This is intended to facilitate the
delivery of timely, appropriate, and effective treatment services to
victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse by, for example, educating
medical professionals on how best to detect abuse and treat abuse
victims. In 1988, the Department of Justice funded the development of a
model sexual assault evidence collection protocol and kit; twelve states
adopted the model and continue to refine and use it. Likewise, the
Justice Department funds national-scope training to mental health
practitioners on topics such as post-traumatic stress disorder of
victims of sexual assault and abuse.
PRIVATE SECTOR ACTION: IN DEFENSE OF WOMEN
A Women's sports retailer, is a founding sponsor of the Ryka ROSE
Foundation (Regaining One's Self-Esteem TM), a non-profit organization
to help stop violence against women through education as well as grants
to battered women's shelters and rape crisis centers.
CURRENT CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES
In a Fact Sheet released in 1994, The Family Violence Prevention Fund
-- Within the last year, 7% of American women (3.9 million) who are
married or living with someone as a couple were physically abused, and
37% (20.7 million) were verbally or emotionally abused by their spouse
-- The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 95% of assaults on
spouses or ex-spouses are committed by men against women.
-- Domestic violence is repetitive in nature: about 1 in 5 women
victimized by their spouse or ex-spouse reported that they had been a
victim of a series of at least 3 assaults in the last 6 months.
-- A 1993 national poll found that more people (34% of men and women)
have directly witnessed an incidence of domestic violence, than muggings
and robberies combined (19%). And 14% of American women acknowledge
having been violently abused by a husband or boyfriend.
-- One study showed that 30% of women presenting with injuries in an
Emergency Department were identified as having injuries caused by
-- Pregnancy is a risk factor for battering. Several studies indicate
a range of incidence from 8% to 15% of pregnant women in public and
private clinics to 17% to as much as 24% to 26%.
-- The level of injury resulting from domestic violence is severe: of
218 women presenting at a metropolitan emergency department with
injuries due to domestic violence, 28% required admission to hospital
for injuries, and 13% required major medical treatment. 40% had
previously required medical care for abuse.
-- 30% of women murdered in the U.S. in 1992 were murdered by a husband
-- In 40% of cases in one study in which physicians treated battered
women in an emergency department setting, staff did not discuss the
abuse with the patients.
-- In one study of 476 consecutive women seen by a family practice
clinic in the midwest, 394 (82.7%) agreed to be surveyed. Of these
patients, 22.7% had been physically assaulted by their partners within
the last year, and the lifetime rate of physical abuse was 38.8%.
However, only six women said they had ever been asked about domestic
violence by their physician.
-- A recent national study of the 143 accredited U.S. and Canadian
medical schools revealed that 53% of the schools do not require medical
students to receive instruction about domestic violence.
-- The Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Hospitals and
Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) requires that accredited emergency
departments have policies and procedures, and a plan for educating staff
on the treatment of battered adults.
-- A national public health objective set by the U.S. Public Health
Service for the year 2000 is for at least 90% of hospital emergency
departments to have protocols for routinely identifying, treating, and
referring victims of sexual assault and spouse abuse.
President Clinton recently formed an Interagency Working Group on
Violence headed by HHS and Justice, with participation by the
Departments of Education, Labor, HUD, and Agriculture, as well as the
Office of National Drug Control Policy. The Working Group examined ways
to curb societal violence generally, and in particular youth violence
(increasingly and more virulently committed by girls), family and
domestic violence, community violence, hate violence, and sexual
assault. Specific federal policies and programs are likely to flow from
the Working Group's work. In addition, the federal government intends
to continue to expand existing policies and programs designed to combat
violence against women.
Several pieces of legislation to address violence against women are
currently under consideration by the U.S. Congress. These include a
comprehensive Violence Against Women Act and several other proposals
that have already been approved by one or both Houses of Congress.
Noteworthy features of the pending legislation include:
Increased support for enforcement efforts against domestic and
sexual violence, including specialized police and prosecution units that
target such crimes, and training of criminal justice personnel to deal
effectively with these crimes;
Establishment and improvement of data, records, tracking, and
registration systems for domestic and sexual violence perpetrators;
Increased support for education and social service programs which
help to prevent domestic and sexual abuse offenses, and assist their
Reform of evidentiary rules for sexual abuse and domestic violence
cases, including broadened admission of evidence that sexual assault
defendants have committed similar crimes on other occasions; and
Creation of a federal civil rights remedy for felonious gender-
WOMEN IN THE MILITARY
WHERE WE WHERE IN 1980*
Almost all women in the military prior to the 20th century were nurses.
(Congress established the Army Nurse Corps in 1901, and the Navy Nurse
Corps in 1906). With World War I the role of women became somewhat
broader, to include clerical and administrative jobs in the military.
At the end of World War I, however, all women in the U.S. armed forces
except nurses were discharged. During World War II the pattern was
repeated, with women being recruited to alleviate the staff shortage in
certain areas -- primarily clerical/administrative, but in some other
fields as well.
* The material concerning the pre-1980 history of women in the military
is taken from Ellen Collier, CRS Issues Brief: Women in the Armed
Forces, Congressional Research Service, 1993, and from Jeanne Holm,
Women in the Military: An Unfinished Revolution, Presidio Press, 1992.
After World War II women became more fully integrated into the U.S.
military. Rather than being organized in separate or auxiliary
organizations, women became part of the regular Army, Navy, Air Force
and Marine Corps. The Armed Forces Integration Act of 1948 limited the
number of enlisted women to 2% of enlisted strength, the number of
women officers (excluding nurses) to 10% of the number of enlisted
women, and the rank a female officer could achieve. In practice,
however, the limits on numbers of women in the military were not
binding: until the mid-1970's, only about 1% of uniformed military
personnel were women.
In 1967, the ceiling on rank was eliminated, and the 2% statutory
limitation was repealed (although Service policies continued to place a
numeric limit on the number of women recruits). On June 11, 1970, the
first women were promoted to flag rank, when Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth
P. Hoisington were promoted to the rank of brigadier (one-star) general
in the Army. In the next two years, the Air Force and the Navy each
promoted a woman to the one-star level. Concurrently, the Services
began allowing women to enroll in the Reserve Officer's Training Corps
(ROTC), the college-based program that provides scholarships to students
who train to become military officers while in college and commit to
joining military service after graduation.
The next barrier to fall was the exclusion of women from the Service
academies -- the United States Military Academy (West Point), the Air
Force Academy, and the Naval Academy. In Fall 1976, women were admitted
to all three academies -- 8% of the entering class at West Point, 10% at
the Air Force Academy, and 6% at the Naval Academy.
Changes in law and Department of Defense (DoD) policy in the 1970's also
opened career and promotion opportunities to single parents, military
couples, and married women. In 1971, the Navy and Air Force rescinded
their regulations barring the enlistment of married women; the Army
followed in 1973, and the Marine Corps in 1974. Also in 1974, all
Services eliminated the policy of involuntary separation for pregnant
women and mothers; the choice to remain in the military or request a
discharge due to parental responsibilities was left to the military
ADVANCEMENTS -- PARTICIPATION
Since 1980, the percentage of women on active duty in the officer and
enlisted ranks combined has grown from about 8% to almost 12%. In June
of 1993, the most recent period for which data are available, 11.5% of
enlisted personnel and 12.3% of officers were women.
Among those joining the officer corps, graduation from one of the
Service academies has historically been the most prestigious route into
the military. The women who first entered the academy in 1976 graduated
in 1980, and the proportion of women among graduates has gradually
increased since then. Historically, the Air Force Academy has had the
highest percent of women in its graduating classes, with the Navy having
a somewhat smaller percentage. Academy graduates of June 1993, included
3,851 women, 9.8% of the total.
As women began participating more extensively in the All Volunteer
Force, they have increasingly been represented at the higher ranks.
Promotion studies indicate that women are generally promoted at rates
similar to men. In fact, while the actual number of field grade
officers within DoD decreased by more than 10,000 since September 1986,
the number of female field grade officers increased by almost 4,000.
As increasing numbers of women have joined the officer corps and worked
their way up through the ranks, the percentage of officers with the rank
of major (lieutenant commanders in the Navy) who are women has grown
from 4.4% in 1980 to 13.2% in June 1993 (the most recent quarter for
which data are available). The proportion of women lieutenant colonels
(commanders in the Navy) has similarly grown. Positive trends are
evident as well among the higher ranks, but it normally takes 18-24
years for an officer to reach the rank of colonel (captain in the Navy),
and 25-30 years to reach flag rank. Thus the increased number of women
entering the military in the era of the All Volunteer Force will not be
reflected at the highest ranks until the late 1990's.
Between September 1987 and June 1993, the Department's active duty
strength declined by almost 370,000 personnel, while the representation
of women increased from 10.2 to 11.6% of the force. As the drawdown
continues, analysis indicates the representation of women on active duty
will remain fairly stable.
Non-Traditional Military Occupations -- Although the majority of women
continue to serve in traditional skills (33.1% of enlisted women serve
in support and administrative skills and 45.6% of women officers serve
in health care skills), approximately 8,900 women serve at sea and
nearly 1,000 serve as pilots, Naval Flight Officers or navigators in the
Army, Navy or Air Force.
In 1993, although women officers still are found disproportionately in
the medical and administrative fields, they also fill their share, or
more, of jobs in the fields of military intelligence and supply and
logistics. Women in the enlisted ranks fill their share or more of jobs
in these same fields, as well as being very well represented in
technical and service handler positions.
The medical field, however, still absorbs by far the greatest fraction
of all women officers. Women enlisted members of the military are
distributed more evenly across career fields.
Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm*
More than 500,000 U.S. troops deployed to the Persian Gulf during
Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990-91, as part of the
multilateral response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Women were well-
represented among the U.S. forces, comprising about 41,000 of the U.S.
total (about 7%). Women worked in a wide variety of locations ranging
from Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, on the Red Sea, to Bahrain on the Persian
Gulf and at sea. They were stationed in cities and in undeveloped
desert areas. They performed a wide range of tasks throughout the area
before, during, and after the air and ground war. They worked as
clerks, mechanics, health care workers, fuel handlers, intelligence
analysts, helicopter pilots, and military police, among other jobs,
according to their military training and unit assignment. Although
barred from ground combat units, Army women received combat flying time
credit, and Combat Medical patches. Marine Corps women received Combat
Action Ribbons due to the location and timing of their service.
* Material in this section is taken from the General Accounting Office
publication entitled Women in the Military: Deployment in the Persian
Gulf War, (GAO/NSIAD-93-93), July 1993.
Discussions with several hundred military personnel who had participated
in the Gulf War revealed the following:
o Perceptions of women's performance were highly positive.
o Women and men endured similar harsh encampment facilities and
o In general, physical strength was neither a problem nor an issue
o Gender was not a determinant of unit cohesion, and generally bonding
in mixed-gender units was as good as, and sometimes better, than in
Women in Combat -- Until recently, women had been prohibited by law from
being assigned to combatant ships, and from assignment to Navy and Air
Force aircraft with combat missions. Although no law restricted women
from ground combat, DoD policy barred women from those ground skills and
positions which, by doctrine or mission, invited the highest probability
of direct combat action.
In 1988, about half of the then 2.2 million active duty military
positions were closed to women. At that time, DoD modified its policy
by adoption of the "Risk Rule" to evaluate whether a non-combat position
should be closed to women: Non-combat units can be closed to women on
grounds of risk of exposure to direct combat, hostile fire, or capture
provided the type, degree, and duration of risk is equal to or greater
than that experienced by associated combat units in the same theater of
In 1991, Congress established a 15-member Commission on the Assignment
of Women in the Armed Forces to study and make recommendations on issues
related to assigning women to combat positions. The Commission
completed its work and reported to the President and Congress in late
1992. Its members were unable to come to consensus, and the final
report resolves few major issues.
Also in 1991, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 1992
and 1993, most legal provisions restricting DoD from assigning women to
aircraft engaged in combat missions were repealed, leaving intact only
the prohibition of women from combat ships.
With the change in Administration in January 1993, the issue of women in
combat was revisited, and in April 1993 Secretary of Defense Aspin
announced a decision to let women fly in combat aircraft and to ask
Congress to repeal the ban on women in combat ships. Congress responded
by lifting the final restrictions prohibiting women from assignment to
combat ships with the passage of the Defense Authorization Act of 1994.
The new law and policy allow women to compete for assignments in all
combat aircraft and to serve on an increasing number of naval vessels.
Women remain restricted from direct ground combat units, defined as
those that engage an enemy on the ground with individual or crew-served
weapons while being exposed to hostile fire and a high probability of
direct physical contact with the enemy.
Over 9,000 attack helicopter pilot positions are now open to women in
the Army. Several women have already completed training to pilot the
Army's Cobra and Apache attack helicopters. The Navy opened an
additional 18 non-combatant ships, including four command ships, to
women, and has a phased plan to place women on combat vessels, including
aircraft carriers. With the issuance of the new policy, the Air Force
opened combat aircrew positions to women. Women are now training to be
Air Force fighter pilots. The Marine Corps conducted a review of every
military occupational specialty and unit and initiated gender-neutral
pilot accessions. Applying this new assignment policy allowed the
Marine Corps to open 14 new occupational specialties and two units which
had previously been completely closed to women.
Women also continue to excel in other military jobs and high level
command and staff positions. For example, Rear Admiral Patricia Tracey
recently became one of the youngest flag officers in Navy history. She
is assigned as the Director for Manpower and Personnel, Office of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff. Rear Admiral Louise Wilmot became the first
woman to command a United States Naval Base. Lieutenant Colonel
Patricia Farnes recently became the first woman to command an Air Force
Personnel from the U.S. Armed Forces were assigned to six United Nations
peacekeeping forces and related missions as of August 31, 1993. Two of
these entailed significant numbers of personnel: over 600 U.S.
personnel in the UN Protection Force in the former Yugoslavia
(UNPROFOR), and almost 3,000 in the UN Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II).
Although their precise number changes as personnel and units rotate
through these assignments, women serve in a variety of positions,
including medical and administrative jobs, as well as supply and
logistics, military police, and other non-traditional occupations.
Women in civilian leadership positions within DoD also are closely
involved in peacekeeping operations. For example, Sarah Sewall is the
first incumbent of the recently-created position of Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Peacekeeping and Peace Enforcement Policy.
CIVILIAN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS
There is a long history of women in civilian leadership positions within
DoD. When the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower
and Personnel was first created in 1950, Anna Rosenberg was appointed to
it. The participation of women at the highest levels of decision-making
continues today, with Sheila Widnall currently serving as the Secretary
of the Air Force, Deborah Lee serving as Assistant Secretary of Defense
for Reserve Affairs, and Alice Maroni serving as the Deputy Comptroller
FEDERAL POLICIES AND PROGRAMS
Veteran Affairs -- Women veterans are part of a comprehensive system of
historical assistance to U.S. veterans. Services available to women
solely on the basis of their military service include: a full continuum
of health care and special health programs, compensation and pension
benefits including vocational counseling, training and education
benefits, home loan guaranties, insurance, and burial benefits (cemetery
sites, headstones, and grave markers).
DOD Family Programs -- In response to the increased number of women in
the military, the expanded proportion of the force that is married and
the growing number of dual income families, the DoD has established a
number of programs to assist Service members and families. There are
317 Family Centers throughout DoD. These centers provide a wide array
of programs and services particularly relevant to active duty women,
spouses and families such as, financial managements, spouse employment
assistance, relocation assistance, stress management, assertiveness
training and parenting programs.
As in the civilian community, family violence is a problem where women
are often the victims. The DoD Family Advocacy Program (FAP), designed
specifically to address spouse and child abuse, is a comprehensive
approach to prevent family violence, intervene if it does occur, protect
victims and provide treatment to victims and offenders.
For the expanded number of military mothers and working spouses, the DoD
Child Development Program has the largest corporate sponsored child care
program in the country. DoD provides child care at over 389 locations
around the world. There are over 128,000 spaces combined in 750 child
development centers and 12,000 family child care homes. The programs
provide full day, part day, and school child care for children ages
birth through twelve whose parents work outside the home.
Sexual Harassment in the Military
Sixty-four percent of uniformed women officers and 30-40% of civilian
military personnel reported having been harassed according to the
National Council Against Sexual Assault. Unlike civilians, uniformed
military officers are not protected from sexual harassment under Title
VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Since uniformed officers cannot use
the EEOC, they must instead rely on informal, ad hoc procedures. There
is a high rate of non-reporting, since officers fear retaliation and
dismissal. According to the National Women's Law Center, "the victim
has no right to independent investigation, hearing, written statement of
findings, right of appeal to court or external body."
Major steps reported by the Department of Defense to eliminate sexual
1. Annual policy statements are issued that explain sexual harassment
and reaffirm that it will not be tolerated.
2. Training programs are required at all levels for civilian and
military personnel, with special emphasis on co-workers.
3. Quality control mechanisms are established to ensure effective
training for military and civilian personnel.
4. Prompt and thorough investigations and resolutions are a priority in
every sexual harassment complaint.
5. Accountability procedures have been established for commanders,
supervisors, and managers to provide their subordinates guidance on what
constitutes sexual harassment and procedures for seeking redress.
6. Sexual harassment prevention and education is a special item for
review in appropriate Inspector General inspections and visits to DoD
facilities and agencies.
7. Military and civilian personnel are informed of the consequences on
their performance appraisals for failure to comply with DoD policy;
possible penalties are loss of benefits, etc.
MAI, LUDMILLA, TIZITA
They are Cambodian, Hmong, Bosnian, Cuban, Amerasian, Somali, Lowland
Lao, Iraqi, Haitian, Romanian, Vietnamese, Iranian, Afghan, Ethiopian,
Kurd, or from the former Soviet Union... They are young, middle-aged,
elderly, single, married, separated, divorced, widowed. They were never
educated; they are college graduates. They speak English; they are
illiterate even in their mother tongue. They have children; their
children are dead; they are pregnant; they have no children. They come
from a rural area; they were city girls. They were raped during their
escape; their escape was violence-free. They are the keeper of their
cultures; they are refugees.
Since 1985, the U.S. has resettled over 900,000 refugees. Those
refugees were assisted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in
the Department of Health and Human Services. In FY 1993, approximately
120,000 refugee and Amerasian immigrants were admitted. Data, as of
December 30, 1988, indicated that refugee women represented 48.8% of the
total refugee population. A breakdown by ethnic background showed the
female proportion ranging from a low of 34.9% for Ethiopians to a high
of 51.1% for refugees from the former Soviet Union. Of the Southeast
Asian refugee population 44.8% were female.
Women refugees resettling in the U.S. after months of persecution and/or
life in refugee camps face many of the same problems as male refugees:
finding housing, learning a new language, getting a job, negotiating
bureaucratic systems, and making friends. In addition, they face a
daunting list of gender-specific problems -- some the result of the
flight to freedom -- such as mental and physical illnesses resulting
from rape. Other issues arise during resettlement when the traditional
support systems of family, friends, and village are not immediately
available and refugee women may find themselves isolated and lacking a
A significant problem facing refugee women in the U.S. is a low level of
literacy and lack of English-speaking skills. Worldwide, a higher
proportion of women are illiterate than men, and illiteracy in their own
language makes life more difficult for the woman refugees in America.
Many of those who are literate in their own language, do not speak
English well. Another problem these women face is depression, a serious
problem for some refugees, but particularly among refugee women who were
raped or who witnessed the rape of their mothers, daughters, and
friends. Women who are raped during their journey to freedom have been
more likely to become victims of domestic violence in their new homes.
In addition, Save the Children's Woman/Child Impact Program reports that
refugee women are distressed and anxious about their ability to provide
the special needs of their children, particularly with regard to
education. This is a source of particular distress, especially when
their children are having problems in school. They are not able to
approach school counselors or the principal, for instance.
Children acculturate more rapidly than adults and develop high
expectations for their material needs. As women tend to be perceived as
most responsible for children, their anxiety increases.
Save the Children finds that licensing of refugee para-professionals
through training for MSW degrees allows the people most knowledgeable
about the community to provide counseling services.
ADVANCEMENTS SINCE 1985
The Refugee Act of 1980, which established the Office of Refugee
Resettlement (ORR), requires "...that women have the same opportunities
as men to participate in training and instruction." In FY 1986, ORR
funded services to homebound women. In 1987, a joint project with the
U.S. ACTION Agency, which coordinates domestic volunteer programs,
trained refugee women as community volunteers.
In FY 1989, an ORR workgroup was established to assess whether the
refugee program was adequately addressing the service needs of refugee
women. The workgroup undertook a needs assessment by contacting refugee
women leaders, service providers, and State Refugee Coordinator staff.
It also reviewed data and conducted a literature review. Three of its
recommendations which were instituted included: a requirement that
refugee Mutual Assistance Associations, ethnically-based nonprofit self-
help groups, include women on their boards; language in the social
service funding announcement which requires States to ensure that women
have the same opportunities as men to participate in training and
instruction; and the development of a discretionary grant program to
address the special needs of women who are particularly vulnerable, such
as hard-to-serve, isolated women, and victims of domestic violence.
ORR's resettlement program also promoted a refugee women's initiative
which provided funding to 12 states for such services as: literacy and
English as a Second Language (ESL) for homebound women; the
establishment of peer support groups; life skills training, day care,
and transportation; and workshops on parenting skills, domestic
violence, and leadership training.
Refugee women also participate in ORR's Microenterprise Development
Initiatives. Refugee women face barriers related to information about
the American business culture, access to capital, and technical
expertise. While some refugee women have started full-blown businesses,
others have attempted smaller, part-time enterprises that are often
home-based. However, many refugee women tend to turn to part time work
in the informal sector. They do not get any benefits. Reduced income
and lack of benefits further constrains them.
CURRENT CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES
Refugee resettlement programs are reaching out to refugee women, but
slowly. More must be done to make the system respond in a timely
fashion. Two related issues are the lack of programs designed for
refugee women and the lack of staff assigned to assist them. Also,
there is a lack of gender disaggregated data. Reporting forms must be
changed to correct this problem.
And, studies confirm what service providers know -- the provision of
more English as a Second Language (ESL) classes alone is not enough to
solve the problems of refugee women. More day care and transportation
services are needed. These are particularly important in facilitating
refugee women's participation in employment programs.
Additionally, support groups have been found to be an effective strategy
for bringing refugee women together to solve their own problems.
Opportunities for refugee women to participate in such groups need to be
provided, and counseling services to deal with psychological distress
are also needed.
ADVOCACY FOR PEACE
At least since 1952* (the earliest available opinion data by gender),
women have generally been less willing than men to support military
conflict. This has held true for conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon,
Grenada, Central America, and the Persian Gulf. Just months after the
Persian Gulf War ended, only 39% of women (53% of men) wanted the U.S.
to take the lead military role in the world.
* Celinda C. Lake, a noted political consultant and frequent opinion
pollster gathered this data over the years, and published this analysis
in "Different Voices, Different Views: The Politics of Gender," The
American Woman 1992-93 for the Women's Research and Education Institute.
While the differences in women's and men's attitudes toward war long
predate the current gender gap, in recent years they have led to
substantial differences in opinion on social programs, defense spending,
and relative funding priorities. Since the end of the 1980's, in a
vastly changed world of foreign policy and defense needs, women are
forming their own opinions about the direction of the new world order
and the international role of the U.S.
NON-GOVERNMENTAL ACTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Throughout the past decade, U.S. women have been in the forefront of
efforts that are generally categorized as the peace movement. They have
engaged in citizen diplomacy, development of legislation, nation-wide
lobbying, and support of women political leaders advocating peace.
While organizations like Women's International League for Peace and
Freedom (dating from WWI) and Women Strike for Peace (founded 1961) have
continued their advocacy, many other women's organizations were formed
during the 1980's.
Women in International Security (WIIS), an international, network and
educational organization dedicated to enhancing opportunities for women
in foreign and defense policy established in 1987, includes women from
academia, think tanks, the diplomatic corps, the intelligence community,
the military, the media, and the private sector. They are active on
issues ranging from arms control and arms transfers to democratization
and the development of international trade blocs.
Examples include Peace Links, WAND, Another Mother for Peace, and
Grandmothers for Peace. The Council of Presidents, a coalition which
includes every major women's organization in the country representing
millions of women, adopted annual agendas including peace issues.
Women's organizations with broader concerns such as the YWCA, League of
Women Voters and America Association of University Women have included
concerns about peace in their agendas.
Women have also worked with men in organizations such as SANE/Freeze
(now Peace Action), Physicians for Social Responsibility, Institute for
Defense and Disarmament Studies, and the International Peace Research
Association, often holding leadership positions. Their missions have
ranged from pacifism, to conflict resolution, to ending the arms race,
to campaigning against nuclear weapons and waste, to ending the Cold
War, to working against human rights violations and war crimes
particularly rape and sexual violence.
Women of all generations are approaching peace issues at several
different levels, from grassroots activism to teaching conflict
resolution and cooperation, providing professional policy research and
analysis, and promoting peace by seeking elected and appointed offices.
Working in coalition with a wide range of non-governmental
organizations, women's peace organizations have been instrumental in
working to affect U.S. foreign and military policy, including:
Extending the moratorium on nuclear testing, preventing the deployment
of the Cruise missiles, preventing full-scale implementation of the
Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars), encouraging forward progress
on negotiations for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and establishing
the acceptance of rape/sexual assault as a war crime.
Women's organizations have also been effective in building a peaceful
global community through a vast array of local, national, and
international projects. The diversity of such projects include: The
Ribbon, Women for Meaningful Summits' delegation to the first Reagan-
Gorbachev Summit, Peace Links' U.S. - U.S.S.R. pen pal project and
ongoing citizen exchanges, WILPF's "Women of Vision Project", the "Peace
Tent" at the Third World Women's Conference in Nairobi, and holding
annual ceremonies commemorating Hiroshima/Nagasaki in most communities
in the U.S.
Examples of citizen diplomacy are the exchanges between Peace Links and
women of the former Soviet Union and now the Independent States of
Eastern Europe. These exchanges are part of efforts in global education
on women's issues. Women from Russia, and the newly independent states
of Eastern Europe have participated annually since 1984 in exchanges
with Peace Links sharing their experiences and learning techniques of
organizing for volunteerism, having "hands on" experience in democracy,
and exploring common concerns such as health care, nuclear disarmament,
the environment, children in crisis, women in decision making roles, and
In conflict resolution, Peace Links initiatives include a conflict
resolution center in Arkansas and training programs for care givers in
day care centers and for parents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Peace
Links believes that conflict resolution skills can be invaluable tools
for peacemaking and peacekeeping; that they should be taught to all,
from pre-schoolers to United Nations officials. A recent survey of
Peace Links across the nation surfaced 100 conflict resolution efforts.
The U.S. section of the Women's International League for Peace and
Freedom (WILPF) works in the area of peace education and conflict
resolution. Through its Jane Addams Peace Association, New York, it
commissioned a curriculum guide for children's peace camps, has a
newsletter on peace education, and continues to give annual book awards
in children's literature.
Undoing Racism Workshops were held in all regions of the U.S. where
there are WILPF branches.
Women as teachers and community leaders have brought such issues as
conflict resolution and tolerance for diversity into the classroom.
Women's organizations have also been in the forefront of raising
awareness and concern for international armed conflict and the effect
this violence on the civilian populations, especially women and
CURRENT CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES
While significant gains have been made in bringing women's voices and
perspectives to bear on issues of foreign and military policy, efforts
must continue to include women at every level of decision-making and
Nuclear weapons arsenals and weapons of mass destruction continue to
pose a grave threat to humanity and the environment. World-wide
reduction of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction,
including high-tech conventional and chemical and biological weapons,
should be accomplished. In particular, women's organizations involved
in the peace movement are continuing to work for ratification of a
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, renewal of a Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty, implementation of START agreements, and further, drastic
multilateral weapons reductions.
Warfare and armed conflict involves the systematic terrorization of the
population and the destabilization and destruction of the economic,
social and political infrastructures. Women's organizations working for
peace consider a major challenge for the foreseeable future to be
converting the world economy and state of mind from military pursuits to
peaceful endeavors. To this end, they work for the reallocation of U.S.
resources from military to civilian human needs.
These organizations believe that increased development and use of
peaceful conflict resolution carried out using culturally relevant and
collaborative methods should be pursued in order to prevent future wars.
They advocate the expansion of education on peaceful conflict resolution
in schools at all levels and of programs that build community and peace
through reduction of violence, protection of all human/women's rights
and the meeting of human needs.
CONTRIBUTING U.S. DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: The mission of the Department of Education is
to ensure equal access to education and to promote excellence in
education throughout the nation. The Department of Education is the
Cabinet-level department that establishes policy for, administers, and
coordinates most Federal assistance to education.
The work of the Department of Education relating to education
instruction, research, and services coordinated through Federal-States
relationships (with emphasis on the advancement of women) is centered in
the following Department components:
Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs is responsible for
overall leadership for the Department in establishing and directing
effective two-way communications with a wide variety of
intergovernmental, interagency, international, and public advocacy
groups and directs programs driven by legislation or executive order.
Office of Civil Rights (OCR) enforces laws that prohibit discrimination
on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in
education programs receiving federal funds. Provides technical
assistance to help schools achieve voluntary compliance with the civil
rights laws that OCR administers. OCR collects all of its civil rights
policy documents in a "Policy Codification System" (PCS). To ensure the
greatest possible dissemination of PCS documents, OCR maintains a public
toll-free line for requests for a copy of any OCR policy documents at 1-
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services' (OSERS) primary
function is the enforcement of legislation enacted to advance the status
of women and girls with disabilities including Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990 (ADA); Rehabilitation Act of 1972; Technology-Related Assistance of
Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988; Education of the Deaf Act of
1986, as amended in 1992; and Temporary Care of Children with
Disabilities and Crisis Nurseries Act of 1986.
OSERS administers programs relating to the free appropriate public
education of all children, youth, and adults with disabilities, provides
for the rehabilitation of youth and adults with disabilities , and
supports research to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.
Divided into three program areas the programs, research and services are
administered by the Office of Special Education Programs; the
Rehabilitation Services Administration; and the National Institute on
Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) promotes and
o Studies that examine the nature and extent of gender bias, gender
discrimination and gender role development.
o A variety of research efforts designed to improve the education for
women and girls and supported through projects funded by the Office of
Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) Field-Initiated Studies
(FIS). Examples of funded projects include the study of equity in
mathematics education, identification of mentoring relationships that
will enhance gender equity and eliminate barriers to women's
participation in such relationships; and study the effects of tracking
in middle and secondary schools to reveal whether tracking practices are
a source of inequities in the transmission of learning opportunities to
o The Women's Education Equity Act (WEEA) Publishing Center
initiatives are funded by OERI and are designed to provide gender-fair
multicultural materials, training, consulting and referrals. WEEA
products are widely utilized in classrooms, businesses, and gender-
equity programs of interests to Title IX Coordinators, Superintendents,
Principals, Directors of Counseling, Librarians, Media Specialists, and
Vocational Education Coordinators through customer services. WEEA
provides grants to develop, field test, and disseminate model strategies
to promote gender equity in education.
o The National Center for Education Research (NCES) collects,
analyzes, and disseminates data on all levels of education in the United
States; conducts studies on international comparisons of education
statistics; and provides leadership in developing and promoting the use
of standardized terminology and definitions for the collection of those
statistics. NCES works collaboratively with states, local education
agencies, other federal agencies, international organizations, and
education constituent groups and makes NCES data available through its
publications program and the Education Information Branch as well as the
National Data Resource Center.
o The National Resources Information Center (ERIC) funded by the
OERI, is a nationwide information network that acquires, catalogs,
summarizes, and provides access to education information from all
sources. The data base and document collections are housed in about
3,000 locations worldwide, including most major public and university
library systems. ERIC provides extensive user assistance including Ask
ERIC, an electronic question answering service for teachers on the
internet (Ask ERIC @ericir.syr.edu). ERIC includes 16 subject-specific
Clearinghouses; through ACCESS ERIC at 800-LET-ERIC (1-800-553-3742).
Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs (OBEMLA)
administers the following special programs that serve students with
limited English proficiency:
Division of National Programs:
o Academic Excellence Program provides financial assistance for model
programs of transitional bilingual education, developmental bilingual
education, or special alternative instruction that have an established
record of providing effective, academically excellent instruction and
that are designed to facilitate the dissemination of effective bilingual
education practices. Applications are available through local school
districts, institutions of high education, or private/nonprofit
o..Family English Literacy Program makes grants supporting programs
that are designed to help Limited English Proficiency (LEP) adults and
out-of-school youth achieve English language competence and provide
instruction on how parents and family members can facilitate the
education achievement of their children. Applications are available
through local school districts, institutions of higher education, or
o..Special Population Program makes grants supporting programs that
are designed for special education, gifted and talented, and preschool
LEP children. Applications are available through local school
districts, institutions of higher education, or private/nonprofit
Division of State and Local Programs:
o..Developmental Bilingual Education Program makes grants supporting
instructional programs of structured English language and second
language instruction designed to help children achieve competence in
English and a second language while mastering subject matter skills and
meeting grade promotion standards. Applications are available through
local education agencies.
o Special Alternative Instruction Programs makes grants supporting
programs that have specially designed curricula and provide structured
instructional services to allow LEP children to achieve English
competence and to meet grade promotion and graduation requirements.
Applications are available through local education agencies.
o Transitional Bilingual Education Program makes grants supporting
programs that are designed to provide structured English language
instruction and native language instruction to allow children to achieve
competence in the English language and to meet grade promotion and
graduation standards. Applications are available through local
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) manages programs
that provide financial assistance, direction, leadership, and technical
assistance to state and local education agencies to improve elementary
and secondary education. OESE carries out grant and school improvement
programs. OESE administers the WEEA program to provide funds to
eligible institutions and individuals.
Women's Educational Equity Act Program (WEEA)
The Women's Educational Equity Act program which provides funds to
eligible institutions and individuals to develop model programs designed
to promote education equity for women and girls at all levels of
education, in particular, women and girls who suffer multiple
discrimination, bias, or stereotyping based on sex and race, ethnic
origin, disability or age. It also provides financial assistance to
enable education institutions to meet the requirement of Title IX of the
Education Amendments of 1972. Materials developed under the program are
available from the Women's Educational Equity Act Publishing Center in
Newton, Massachusetts. The WEEA Publishing Center is funded by OERI.
Information about WEEA programs is also available through school
Safe Schools Act
The Safe Schools Act, enacted by Congress in 1993 as part of the GOALS
2000: Education America Act, authorizes the Secretary of Education to
make competitive grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) to enable
them to carry out projects and activities designed to ensure that all
schools are safe and free of violence.
Grants may be used to support a variety of activities, including
identifying and assessing school violence and discipline programs,
affecting both girls and boys conducting school safety reviews, planning
for comprehensive and long-term violence prevention strategies, training
school personnel and involving parents in efforts to prevent school
Office of Postsecondary Education provides financial assistance through
Federal Student aid loans and grants for students enrolled in
postsecondary education programs in colleges and universities; supports
institutions in the development of student services, college housing and
facilities and innovative instructional program. The Center for
International Education administers some individual and institutional
Fulbright awards for Americans to study and conduct research abroad.
The Center also administers grants to foreign area studies centers at
U.S. universities and implements Title VI of the Higher Education Act.
Approximately 57.4% of all financial assistance for students enrolled in
postsecondary programs was received by women in 1991.
Other OPE programs to advance the status of women include the Patricia
Roberts Fellowship Program for Women Studying at the Graduate Level:
Cooperative Education Grant Program; Minority Science Improvement Grant
Program that encourages women to enter professional career fields where
they have been traditionally under-represented; and the Fund for the
Improvement of Education grants that support projects to develop the
discipline of Women's Studies and to incorporate perspectives relating
to women in the college and university level curriculum, as well as to
fund grants to higher education institutions for development of service
programs for women (and other segments of the population) experiencing
difficulty gaining access to services.
Office of Vocational and Adult Education programs to increase access to
and improve educational programs which promote work force preparation
and lifelong learning. OVAE serves as the principal Federal entity for
the provision of vocational education and adult education and literacy
services. In this capacity the Office provides a unified Federal
approach to vocational education and literacy for youth and adults.
This includes maintaining increasing adult learning, eliminating adult
illiteracy, and insuring the equal access of minorities, women,
handicapped, and disadvantaged persons to vocational and adult
In addition, OVAE works cooperatively with the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services to support efforts related to the Job Opportunities
and Basic skills Training (JOBS) programs. This program is designed
primarily for young unmarried mothers and teenage parents. Its purpose
is to improve a family's ability to become and to remain self-sufficient
through education and training that would lead to employment.
The National Institute for Literacy is administered under an interagency
agreement among the Secretaries of Education, Labor, and Health and
Human Services. The Institute's mission is to enhance the national
effort to eliminate illiteracy for the year 2000 by creating a national
network and serving as a focal point for coordination and dissemination
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: is the principal agency for
protecting health and providing essential human services to Americans.
It is the largest federal department (FY 1993 budget was $590 billion)
and accounts for about 40 percent of the U.S. budget. In fact, it is
the third largest budget in the world, exceeded only by the budgets of
the U.S. and Japan.
HHS provides direct services or income support to more than one in every
five Americans. HHS administers more than 250 programs including AIDS
research, cancer treatment, alcohol and drug abuse prevention,
immunizations, and aid to the elderly, poor and disabled. From ensuring
the foods we eat and medicines we take are safe, to helping families
gain self-sufficiency through financial aid and job training, to making
sure all babies get a healthy start through good prenatal care, the work
of HHS affects everyone.
The work of HHS is carried out under four divisions: Public Health
Service (the world's largest public health program which serves to
protect and advance the health of Americans); Social Security
Administration (which provides financial assistance to the elderly,
disabled, widowed, orphaned, or low-income elderly through payroll taxes
on workers); Health Care Financing Administration (which manages health
insurance for the elderly, certain disabled individuals and the poor);
and Administration for Children and Families (the focal point for all
HHS efforts for children and families). What follows is a break-down of
the primary components of each of these agencies.
Administration on Children and Families
By providing income support and social services, ACF programs aim to
improve the well-being of low-income families, neglected and abused
children and youth, Native Americans, refugees, people with
developmental disabilities, and those with mental retardation. ACF
programs are at the heart of the Federal effort to strengthen families
and communities. ACF program offices and administrations include:
Administration on Children Youth and Families - oversees matters
relating to the sound development of children, youth and families. It
administers a variety of programs, including: 1. Head Start provides
comprehensive developmental services to low-income, preschool children
and their families. Head Start is operated through grants to local
private nonprofit agencies which are required to contribute a non-
Federal share. 2. The Child Care and Developmental Block Grant provides
grants to States and Tribes for affordable quality child care services
for low income families. This program helps low-income families that
are working or receiving job training or education. 3. Foster Care and
Adoption Assistance helps State public assistance agencies provide
proper care in a foster family home or in an institution and helps find
adoptive homes for hard-to-place children. The program also provides
funds to assist adoptive children with special needs. It is jointly
funded by the Federal and State governments. 4. Child Welfare Services
was designed to help families stay together. State public assistance
agency services include preventive intervention to keep children at
home, services to develop alternative placements if the child cannot
remain at home, and reunification services. States jointly fund the
program with the Federal government. 5. Child Abuse and Neglect
programs. Federal funds stimulate diverse programs to respond to reports
of child abuse and neglect and sexual abuse, fund the Statewide public
awareness campaigns and fund and strengthen self-help groups. 6. The
Runaway and Homeless Youth Program authorizes Federal grants to public
and private agencies to provide crisis intervention and family
reunification services to runaway and homeless youth and their families.
Office of Family Assistance - is concerned with matters related to
public assistance and economic self-sufficiency. It provides direction
and technical guidance for the nationwide administration of the
following programs: 1. The Aid to Families with Dependent Children
(AFDC) program provides temporary financial assistance to needy families
with dependent children through State welfare agencies. Federal and
State governments share costs. 2. The AFDC Unemployed Parent Program
(AFDC-UP) provides assistance to families in which a child is deprived
because one of the parents in the home is unemployed. Federal and State
governments share costs. State welfare agencies are responsible for
operations. 3. The Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS)
Program provides AFDC recipients with the opportunity to take part in
job training, work activities and education to gain self-sufficiency.
Program operations are the responsibility of the State welfare agency.
Federal funds are available to reimburse qualifying State expenses.
Transportation and child care services may be available to participants.
4. The Emergency Assistance Program assists needy families with children
who need temporary financial assistance and services to prevent the
child's destitution and to provide living arrangements for them, if
necessary. State welfare agencies operate the program. Federal and
State governments share the costs. 5. The At-Risk Child Care Program
offers child care to low-income families that are not receiving AFDC,
need the care in order to work and would be at-risk for AFDC without the
care. The program is a State option, operated by State welfare agencies
and is jointly funded by Federal and State governments. 6. Aid to the
Aged, Blind and Disabled in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
This program grants qualified recipients financial assistance.
The Child Support Enforcement Program - is a Federal/State/local effort
to locate absent parents, establish paternity when necessary, and
establish and enforce legal order for support. The program offers an
opportunity for children in need to receive the financial support they
deserve from both parents. More than 8.8 million mothers rearing
children whose father is not in the household may benefit from CSE
The Office of Community Services - oversees the administration of
community programs that promote economic self-sufficiency including: 1.
The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) provides annual funding to
State community action agencies, State CSBG offices, Indian tribes and
tribal organizations, and migrant and seasonal farmworker organizations
to provide a wide range of services and activities to assist low-income
persons. 2. The Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program assists
low-income household to meet the costs of home heating and cooling
needs. This program is operated through grantees which include States,
territories and Indian tribes and tribal organizations. 3. The Emergency
Community Services Homeless Grant Program expands services to the
homeless, helps homeless persons obtain social and maintenance services,
promotes private sector assistance to the homeless,a nd provides funds
to prevent homelessness. Federal funds are distributed by formula to
the States which award funds to community action agencies, organizations
serving migrant and seasonal farmworkers and certain other organizations
eligible under special waiver or under the CSBG Act. The Social Services
Block Grant is distributed to States for award to entities which will
use funds to help persons achieve economic self sufficiency; prevent or
remedy neglect, abuse or exploitation; reduce inappropriate
institutionalization or make referrals to institutions where
appropriate. 5. The Domestic Violence Program assists States,
Territories, and Indian Tribes in their efforts to prevent family
violence and to provide immediate shelter and related assistance for
victims of family violence and their dependents.
Office of Refugee Resettlement - provides assistance to help refugees
achieve economic self-sufficiency within the shortest time possible
following their arrival in the U.S. The number of refugees admitted to
the U.S. each year is determined by the President in consultation with
Congress. In FY 1993, this assistance was made available through the
auspices of five different programs: Cash and Medical Assistance,
Social Services, Preventive Health Services, Voluntary Agency Matching
Grant Program, and the Targeted Assistance Grant Program. Approximately
120,000 refugees were admitted to the U.S. in FY 1993.
The Administration on Developmental Disabilities - sets policies
relating to persons with developmental disabilities. Developmental
Disabilities Programs support and encourage quality services to persons
with developmental disabilities. Grants help State and local
governments and the private sector to integrate these individuals into
mainstream society through, for example, special services, education,
advocacy, removing architectural barriers, transportation and research.
The Administration for Native Americans - is concerned with matters
relating to American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians, and
Native Pacific Islanders. Competitive grants are awarded to constituents
to encourage self-supporting communities.
Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration pays benefits to almost 37 million
retired workers and their families, widows, and survivors through its
largest program, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) program.
SSA also administers two other national programs: the Social Security
Disability Insurance program (DI), and the Supplemental Security Income
program (SSI). The Disability Insurance program provides benefits to
almost 5.2 million disabled workers and their families, while the SSI
program provides cash assistance to 5.9 million aged as well as disabled
children and adults. The 1993 administrative budget for SSA was over
$4.6 billion. Historically, administrative costs represent less than 1
percent of total program costs.
Administration on Aging
The Administration on Aging has as its mission to provide nutrition and
supportive services for persons 60 years and older through a network of
state and area agencies on ageing; to serve as an advocate for older
Americans; to advise the President and Secretary (HHS) on all matters
relating to older Americans. The to 1993 budget for AoA is
$838,677,000, of which $460 million is for nutrition services and $296
million is for supplemental services. Despite its relatively small size
and budget, AoA is a very visible agency in human services for the
THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: created in 1965, HUD
is the principal Federal agency responsible for programs concerned with
the Nation's low and moderate income housing needs, fair and equal
access to housing opportunities, and improving and developing the
nation's communities. Its major activities include:
o insuring mortgages for single-family and multifamily housing;
o channelling funds from investors into the mortgage industry through
the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA);
o providing grants for construction or rehabilitation of housing for
low- and moderate-income households and special populations (the elderly
o providing shelter and services to homeless individuals and families;
o providing housing vouchers to low-income households to enable them
to pay for privately-owned housing;
o providing grants to states and localities for community and economic
o furthering and enforcing fair housing and fair lending laws; and
o funding the construction, modernization, and maintenance of public
and Indian housing.
Functionally, HUD implements its programs primarily through four program
offices: Community Planning and Development, Office of Housing/Federal
Housing Administration (FHA), Office of Fair Housing and Equal
Opportunity, and Public and Indian Housing.
HUD'S stated mission is to help people build communities of opportunity.
This means that its purpose is to take the lead in helping people become
self-sufficient; pursue opportunities for economic and personal growth;
and raise their children in safe, supportive neighborhood environments.
With the exception of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), HUD
programs are generally targeted to households that have incomes at or
below 50 percent of the area median. HUD's housing assistance programs
give priority to families whose current housing is unsafe or
structurally inadequate or who are paying more than half their incomes
In 1991, 57 percent of rental households receiving HUD assistance had
incomes below the poverty level. In all, HUD rental assistance served
31 percent of the nation's 7.8 million poor households.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Women's Bureau: created by Congress in 1920, the
only Federal agency with a congressional mandate to promote the welfare
of working women:
-- to formulate standards and policies which shall promote the welfare
of wage-earning women, improve their working conditions, increase their
efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable employment.
The Women's Bureau participates in departmental policy making and
program planning, and serves as a coordinating body in the Department of
labor for programs affecting women. It has been strengthened in recent
years by an Order by the Secretary of Labor requiring the heads of all
agencies within the Department of Labor to consult with the Women's
Bureau in the development of all policies, programs, research, or
materials that may affect the participation of women in the work force.
To establish vital links at local levels, the Women's Bureau has offices
in the ten Federal regions across the U.S. Headed by regional
administrators, the offices implement national programs and policies,
develop local initiatives to address local needs, and disseminate
information and publications. Both national and regional offices work
cooperatively with women's organizations and commissions for women, the
private sector, unions, program operators, educational and training
personnel, social service agencies, and government at all levels.
To remain in the forefront on issues, the Women's Bureau initiates and
supports research and analyses in economic, social, and legislative
areas, and makes policy recommendations. It also tests innovative ideas
and approaches through demonstration projects that help prepare women to
enter or reenter the work force, move into new areas of work, or move up
in their careers. On the international level, the Bureau participates
actively in high-level policy development for working women.
The Bureau carries out an information and education program through
publications, audiovisuals, media relations, feature articles, and
public speaking. To help U.S. women attain legal literacy about their
rights, the Women's Bureau publishes A Working Woman's Guide to Her Job
Rights, most recently published in 1992. This 70 page booklet describes
the protection and services provided under Federal law which affect
women's rights when seeking employment, while working, and when
retiring. The Women's Bureau provides more technical legal information
in its Handbook on Women Workers, scheduled for publication in 1994.
To meet the challenge of the '90s, the Women's Bureau has launched a
bold two-year program. It is based on the concept that working women
themselves are an untapped resource for addressing workplace programs.
The goal is to make women's concerns a vital part of American public
policy. The experiences of working women around the nation have helped
to shape the Women's Bureau's action agenda:
Don't Work in the Dark -- A public service campaign to inform
women of their rights regarding pregnancy discrimination, family and
medical leave, and sexual harassment. The campaign features easy-to-
read brochures in English and Spanish and a toll-free number to the
Women's Bureau Clearinghouse.
Working Women Count! -- From May through August 1994, the Women's
Bureau Working Women Count! questionnaire asks American women to speak
their minds about work. To highlight the Working Women Count! campaign,
the Women's Bureau Director headed a team of public leaders and policy
makers on a four city tour to hear directly from American women about
their lives on the job. The questionnaire is appearing in major women's
magazines and being distributed by associations, employers, businesses
and unions nationwide. Findings from the Working Women Count!
questionnaire will be released in the fall of 1994 and will be included
in a national report on how working women feel about their jobs and what
they would like to change.
75th Anniversary of the Women's Bureau Celebration -- In May 1995,
the Women's Bureau will mark its 75th birthday. Women around the
country will be invited to join the festivities -- to appreciate our
history, celebrate victories, and look to future gains for all working
Selected Other DOL Agencies and Offices
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has published data on women since
the early years of this century. Since 1978, BLS has published
Employment in Perspective: Women in the Labor Force, a quarterly report
devoted solely to data on women in the labor force. Other BLS
publications include Where to Find BLS Statistics on Women (1989),
Working Women: Where Have We Been? Where Are We Going? (1990) looking
at the major social transformation of the role of women in the labor
market in the last century, and Working Women: A Chartbook (1991)
summarizing the main characteristics of women in the labor market today
and changes that have occurred in the recent past, providing a reference
point from which to observe and analyze the changes in the economic role
of women that the 21st century is sure to bring.
BLS data are used by private firms and public agencies as they formulate
their equal employment opportunity plans. BLS databases allow users to
compare their establishments with the U.S. as a whole in terms of
women's employment by occupation and women's earnings. Such information
enables researchers and others to monitor women's progress and the
effect of equal employment programs and policies on the labor market
status of women.
Any agency, firm, or individual can have access to all the gender-
specific data that BLS publishes. On a fee for service basis, BLS can
also provide many special tabulations based on the variables in the
household database to any user. BLS provides technical assistance to
users and policy makers who need to understand methodologies and to
interpret the data in its social and economic context. Advice and
consultation on appropriate use of all statistical series, including
those on women are provided both informally to individuals, and formally
as lectures and seminars to data-users' groups. Training in statistical
methods and analysis is provided to persons from many countries as part
of the BLS program of international training.
The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) oversees the nation's
major job training, employment, and unemployment compensation programs.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces the
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in the
Employment Standards Administration (ESA) enforces Executive Order
11246, prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or
national origin, and requiring affirmative action by Federal
contractors. OFCCP also enforces section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act
of 1973, and the non-discrimination and affirmative action provisions of
the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, which
protects disabled workers and certain veteran workers. The OFCCP
ensures that firms contracting with the Federal government abide by laws
and regulations requiring equal employment opportunity and affirmative
action. The Office ensures that the tens of thousands of contractors
that do business each year with the Federal Government not only do not
discriminate, but actively seek to hire and promote qualified disabled,
minority and women workers.
The Wage and Hour Division in ESA enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act
and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
The Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA) administers and
enforces provision of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of
1974 that governs private sector, employment based benefits, including
pension and health plans.
The Directorate of Civil Rights (DRC) in the Office of the Assistant
Secretary for Administration and Management (OASAM) develops,
administers, and enforces departmental policies, practices, and
procedures under Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
sections 164 and 167 of the Job Training Partnership Act of 1982; the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; title IX
of the Education Amendments of 1972; and related statutes and Executive
DCR's two main units are the Office of Equal Employment and Affirmative
Action Programs (EEOAAP) and the Office of Program Compliance and
Enforcement (OPCE). EEOAAP manages affirmative action and special
emphasis programs for the national and regional components of Labor. It
also conducts formal equal employment opportunity investigations related
to complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color,
religion, national origin, age, and disability. OPCE conducts
compliance reviews of DOL funding recipients, and oversees enforcement
activities to ensure that the recipients of financial assistance from
DOL adhere to applicable equal employment opportunity and non-
discrimination laws and regulations.
The DOL Academy trains Department of Labor employees; it is recognized
as a model training program throughout government.
The Bureau of International Labor Affairs conducts a variety of Agency
for International Development funded labor study programs each year for
foreign visitors to the U.S. In 1991, a total of 36 women and 5 men in
labor, management and government from 14 countries in Africa, Eastern
Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean participated in two programs
entitled "Women's Issues in the Workplace." The programs were designed
to demonstrate how to address issues faced by working women, including,
inter alia, preparation for and entry into the workplace; employment
creation and unemployment; career advancement; work-family issues; self-
employment and entrepreneurship; pay equity; pensions and social
security; and health and safety. This highly successful program was
repeated twice in 1992.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA): The Environmental Protection
Agency is responsible for implementing Federal laws designed to protect
the environment through research, monitoring, standard-setting,
enforcement, and educational activities. EPA also coordinates and funds
research and anti-pollution activities of state, tribal governments, and
local governments, private and public groups, individuals, and
educational institutions. In addition, the Agency monitors the
potential environmental effects of the operations of other federal
THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION (EEOC) is a Federal agency
whose five members are appointed by the President. EEOC enforces the
major federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. These
include: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, (Title
VII) which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color,
sex, religion or national origin; the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which
requires that men and women who perform substantially equal work under
the same conditions receive equal pay; the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act of 1967, which protects women and men aged 40 or older
against age-based employment discrimination; Title I of the Americans
with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which prohibits disability-based
discrimination in private and in State and local government employment;
and Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which
prohibits disability-based discrimination in federal government
employment. EEOC also enforces the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which
strengthened protection and remedies for persons covered by Title VII,
the ADA, and other laws.
EEOC receives and investigates discrimination complaints, and where it
finds that they are justified, tries to resolve them through
conciliation. Where conciliation fails, EEOC may file suit in court or
authorize the complainant to file a private suit. EEOC Commissioners
also may file charges against employers.
THE U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (USAID): Since 1961 USAID
has been helping people help themselves. In addition to humanitarian
assistance, USAID's work concentrates on four areas-all interrelated-and
all crucial to achieving U.S. foreign policy objectives: improving
health and population conditions; protecting the environment; promoting
economic growth; and supporting democracy.
A federal agency, USAID is based in Washington, D.C., but derives its
strength from its field missions abroad. USAID staff work with
teachers, farmers, microentrepreneurs, nurses and other members of the
local community in four regions of the world: (1) Africa, (2) Asia and
the Near East, (3) Latin America and the Caribbean, and (4) Central and
Eastern Europe and the New Independent States of the former Soviet
To promote development, USAID works in close partnership with other U.S.
government agencies, U.S. business, other developed nations, private
voluntary organizations, indigenous non-governmental organizations,
international agencies and universities.
THE PEACE CORPS was established in 1961 to promote world peace. The
agency has had three goals since its inception:
-- helping people of interested countries meet their needs for trained
men and women;
-- promoting a better understanding of America in other countries; and
-- promoting a better understanding of those countries here in the
Since 1961, more than 140,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 124
countries around the world in grassroots development projects in
agriculture, education, the environment, health, small business
development and urban development. With a budget of $220 million and a
Volunteer force of about 6500, Peace Corps is actively engaged in
development projects in 93 countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Latin
America, the Caribbean, Eurasia and the Middle East.
THE UNITED STATES COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS, established by the Civil
Rights Act of 1957, is an independent, bipartisan, factfinding agency of
the executive branch. Although the membership was changed from six to
eight under the Act of 1983, the Commission's duties and powers are the
same as those of the previous Commission.
The Commission is authorized to: (1) investigate sworn allegations that
certain citizens of the United States are being deprived of their right
to vote, or have that vote counted by reason of color, race, religion,
sex, age, handicap, national origin, or fraudulent practices; (2) study
and collect information concerning legal developments constituting
discrimination or a denial of equal protection of the laws under the
Constitution because of color, race, religion, sex, age, handicap,
national origin, or administration of justice; (3) appraise the laws and
policies of the Federal Government with respect to discrimination or
denial of equal protection of the laws under the Constitution; (4)
investigate sworn allegations that citizens are being accorded or denied
the right to vote in Federal elections as a result of patterns or
practices of fraud or discrimination; (5) serve as a national
clearinghouse for information to the public with respect to such
discrimination or denials of equal protection in voting, education,
housing, employment, access to public facilities; and, (6) submit
findings, reports, and recommendations to the President and to the
In furtherance of its factfinding duties, the Commission may hold
hearings and issue subpoenas for the production of documents and the
attendance of witnesses at such hearings. It maintains State advisory
committees, and consults with representatives of Federal, State, and
local governments, and private organizations.
UNITED STATES SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: is mandated to aid,
counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business; ensure that
small business concerns receive a fair portion of Government purchases,
contracts and subcontracts; make loans to small business concerns, State
and local development companies, and the victims of floods or other
catastrophes; and license, regulate and make loans to small business
investment companies. Women are equally served through all programs.
Office of Women's Business Ownership (OWBO) - was established in 1979 to
develop and coordinate a national program to increase the strength,
profitability and visibility of women-owned businesses, while making
maximum use of existing government and private sector resources. The
OWBO also serves as the primary advocate on behalf of current and
potential women business owners with Federal agencies, state and local
governments and private sector organizations.
THE OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT: The mission of the Office of
Personnel Management is to serve the public by providing human resource
management leadership and high-quality services based on merit
principles, in partnership with Federal agencies and employees.
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: is the agency devoted to providing care,
support, and recognition to the nation's 26 million veterans. With
about 250,000 employees nationwide, VA is the second largest civilian
agency. VA provides a full continuum of health care services and
special health programs such as those for spinal injury, homeless
mentally ill, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; compensation and
pension benefits; and cemetery sites, headstones, and grave markers.
VA delivers services and benefits through three major divisions: The
Veterans Benefits Administration (which operates Regional Offices in
every state, administering benefits programs and providing veterans
director service and assistance in obtaining benefits); the Veterans
Health Administration (which operates 171 medical centers; 350 clinics,
nursing homes and domiciliaries and centers for research and education);
and the National Cemetery System (which operates 114 national cemeteries
and 33 monument and burial sites, and administers grants for state
veterans' cemeteries). The three administrations provide a structure
for the delivery of quality, compassionate service to veterans and their
[End of Section 5 of 5]
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