New Coalition Brings Together Military Women’s Groups

Nearly four dozen women’s organizations nationwide have committed to attending the inaugural meeting of the Military Women’s Coalition, a new group that aims to strengthen the voice of women who have served or are serving.

Several organizations representing women in the military, both active and veteran, are joining forces in a new coalition—complete with a forthcoming event.

The first meeting of the Military Women’s Coalition, currently made up of an advisory group of eight national and local military organizations nationwide, will take place September 7 in Atlanta. Brought together by the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), the member organizations say that close collaboration could prove an important force for change for the nation’s 2.2 million servicewomen and female veterans.

“The Military Women’s Coalition will harness the collective power of military women’s organizations so we can work more effectively to address the challenges servicewomen and women veterans face,” Lydia C. Watts, SWAN’s CEO, said in a news release. Many military women still face gender bias while serving and barriers to accessing their earned benefits, the coalition says.

The organizers say there are more than 150 grassroots organizations around the country focused on these issues, and dozens of those groups have expressed interest in joining a national coalition. According to, more than 45 women’s veterans groups have already committed to sending representatives to the inaugural meeting.

“The importance of a women’s veterans coalition cannot be overstated. The strength in numbers alone brings the powerful voice of many in one organization—a voice that has waited too long to be heard,” said retired Maj. Gen. Dee McWilliams, president of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.

Other members of the advisory group are Final Salute, Inc.; Protect Our Defenders; Georgia Military Women; Women Veteran Social Justice; Women Veterans United Committee, Inc.; and Service: Women Who Serve.

(DanielBendjy/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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