WASHINGTON (NNS) — March 1, the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) released its 2017 annual report on matters relating to women serving in the Armed Forces of the United States.
DACOWITS provides the Department of Defense with advice and recommendations on matters and policies relating to women in the Armed Forces. The committee provides these recommendations to the Secretary of Defense via a comprehensive annual report, based on information gathered throughout the year.
For 2017, DACOWITS studied 13 topics. The committee gathered information from multiple sources including briefings and written responses from DOD, service-level military representatives and subject matter experts; data collected from focus groups and interactions with service members during installation visits; and peer-reviewed literature. DACOWITS collected qualitative data during their visits to multiple installations representing the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard.
Based upon the data collected and analyzed, the committee submitted 17 recommendations to the Secretary of Defense on the following topics: accession and marketing, recruiting strategies, propensity to serve, mid-career retention, dual-military co-location policies, gender integration, key opportunities and assignments, gender integrated boxing, physiological gender differences, parent leave policies, childcare resources, family care plan policies, and the impacts of social media and sexual harassment online. The report is available online and includes detailed reasoning supporting each recommendation addressed by the committee.
Established in 1951, DACOWITS is one of the oldest DOD federal advisory committees. The committee was created following the signing of the 1948 Women's Armed Services Integration Act. The law enabled women to serve as permanent, regular members of the Armed Forces in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force.
Over the years, DACOWITS has been instrumental to the DOD and has made significant contributions on topics including opening career fields, specialties, schooling and training to women; developing gender neutral occupational standards; improving to the health of deployed servicewomen; and increasing marketing, accessions and recruiting.