Lois Frankel

09/23/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/23/2021 19:50

Co-Chairs Frankel, Waltz Joined by Reps. Keating, Speier in Advancing Women, Peace, and Security Agenda in National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022

Washington, D.C. - Today, Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Caucus Representatives Lois Frankel (FL-21) and Michael Waltz (FL-06), joined by Caucus members Representatives Bill Keating (MA-09) and Jackie Speier (CA-14) released the following statement after the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022, which includes key provisions championed by the members that will advance women's participation in national security forces at home and abroad.

"Increasing women's participation in peace and security efforts is crucial to advancing gender equality around the world and to broader international security," said Rep. Frankel. "I'm proud to have voted for an NDAA that acknowledges the importance of achieving gender equality and is committed to increasing opportunities for women in our national security community here at home and abroad."

"I'm proud to have worked with my colleagues on the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Caucus to include such vital bipartisan provisions in the NDAA that will both promote women's participation in national security abroad and WPS principles across the U.S. military," said Rep. Waltz. "Identifying pathways for women to serve in partner countries will, in turn, make the U.S. safer in the long run. Standardizing and incorporating the Women, Peace, and Security Implementation Plan, as released by the previous Administration, across the U.S. military is overdue and I look forward to continuing efforts to prioritize the WPS agenda."

"The meaningful participation of women in all aspects of global security is more critical than ever," said Rep. Bill Keating. "We know that when women are engaged, we see less conflict, more stability, and greater representation for future generations of women. My amendment instructs the Secretary of Defense to hold our own Armed Services accountable in accordance with the 2017 law. This will finally ensure that the United States is the standard bearer of gender equality in all areas of conflict resolution and security, particularly as we champion women's rights on the global stage."

"Women in America have been fighting on the front lines since the foundation of our country and gender integration of our armed forces is critical to both morale and readiness - Women's service is important to our national security," said Rep. Speier. "Our role as the world's strongest military means our allies and partners look to us as an example. It's time we had a plan focused on defining the importance of women in security, identifying needs, and improving awareness within military operations. My amendment in the FY22 NDAA ensures the resources, tools, and priority needed to effect real change are provided and that our Gender Advisors are standardized and elevated in order to most effectively execute that plan."

Specifically, the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2022 includes the following WPS provisions:

  • Creates a pilot program to assess the barriers to women's participation in the national security forces of six participating partner countries;
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to encourage admitting diverse individuals, including women, to each military service academy;
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to engage with elementary schools, secondary schools, postsecondary educational institutions, and nonprofits to support activities related to implementing the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017;
  • Requires that the professional military education curriculum addresses gender analysis, the meaningful participation of women in national security activities, and the relationship between such participation and security outcomes;
  • Requires DOD to submit a report and brief Congress on its plan to implement the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military's recommendation to standardize and better integrate gender advisors and women, peace, and security principles across organizations within the Defense Department.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 passed by a vote of 316-113. Full text of the legislation is available here.