Pentagon Expires Women’s Advisory Committee Charter
The Pentagon has not renewed the charter for the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) and will instead rewrite the charter for the decades old committee according to the Washington Times. The Times interviewed an unnamed official who commented, “We are developing a new charter that we believe will enhance the role and the effectiveness of the committee while broadening its focus.” It is unclear what the role or the focus of the committee will now be. The Bush Administration has been under pressure from reactionary anti-feminist groups to close DACOWITS altogether even though the committee had helped increase women’s participation in military service. According to Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-NM), a former Air Force officer, “The advisory committee provides information to senior leadership that [women] would not get through the regular chain of command.” Wilson also stated that “women in the military need opportunities to express concerns without fear of reprisal from their chain of command.” Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has assigned the issue of DACOWITS to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.
Media Resources: Washington Times, 3/1/02