Women Veterans

Women have served in the military from the American Revolution to the present, and by 2010, roughly 15 percent of all veterans will be women. Unfortunately, women have been historically underrepresented in utilizing the benefits provided for them, and have often been more reticent in claiming their veteran status. The Department of Veterans Affairs is committed to ensuring that benefits and services for women veterans are made as accessible as possible, and has created a number of outreach programs and revised guidelines toward this end.

Women veterans are entitled to the same VA benefits as male veterans. Gender-specific services and benefits -- including breast and pelvic examinations -- and preventive care such as contraceptive services, menopause management, Pap smears, reproductive counseling, and mammography are available. VA health care professionals are trained to provide counseling and treatment to women suffering the effects of personal and sexual assault/harassment during military service. Care is available for any injury, illness or psychological illness resulting from such trauma.

To ensure the privacy of women veterans, the VA medical centers have introduced a variety of structural changes. Women Veterans' Coordinators are available at all VA facilities to assist women veterans in seeking treatment and benefits. More information is available at the VA Center for Women Veterans.

For more on women who have served in the military, see the Women's History Month Special.

Related Topics

Women in the Military

Veteran BenefitsMore


In addition to the pensions and benefits to which you may be entitled because of both public and private employment, you may also be eligible for certain benefits based on your military service.

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