Sunday, March 18, 2007

Harassment 'endemic' in US forces

Al Jazeera. March 15, 2007

The US military is pushing hard to recruit female soldiers but struggles to overcome a legacy of sexual harassment, assault and even rape by male colleagues.

Women who have been assaulted or raped report poor medical treatment, lack of counselling, incomplete criminal investigations and even threats of punishment for reporting the assaults.

The military claims changes made over the last few years, most notably in 2005, have made the military a safer working environment for women. But in an exclusive investigation Al Jazeera's Everywoman programme interviewed a number of former female soldiers who say nothing has changed.

(Click here to read more)

See also interviews on Democracy Now!;

The Private War of Women Soldiers: Female Vet, Soldier Speak Out on Rising Sexual Assault Within US Military

On International Women’s Day, we look at the ongoing global struggle for gender equality and equal rights within the US military. Specialist Mickiela Montoya came face to face with the dangers of rape by her male comrades when she was deployed to Iraq with the National Guard. Eli Painted Crow served in the Army for 22 years including time in Iraq in 2004, facing challenges both as a woman and a Native American. And Columbia professor Helen Benedict is author of a forthcoming book about women veterans of the Iraq war.

(Click here to read more)