Press Releases

Frankel Measure Advancing Women Included in National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021

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West Palm Beach, FL, July 21, 2020 | comments

Today, Representative Lois Frankel (FL-21) voted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021, a strong, bipartisan bill that honors America’s values, strengthens our security, and advances America’s leadership in the world.

The bill includes a Frankel provision to advance women’s participation in national security forces both in the U.S. and globally. The provision would require an assessment on the barriers to women’s participation in the national security forces of six participating partner countries. It also requires the Secretary of Defense to encourage admitting diverse individuals, including women, to each military service academy and 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.

“Increasing women’s participation in peace and security efforts is not only crucial to advancing gender equality around the world, it is critical to broader international security concerns," said Rep. Frankel. “In addition to understanding the barriers to women’s participation in partner security forces, this amendment will also advance the positive impact of increased participation of women in security forces, as evidenced by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.”

Citing evidence that greater numbers of women peacekeepers lead to more credible protection responses that meet the needs of all members of local communities, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has said “women in patrol units are better able to reach both men and women, and that the female presence at checkpoints has been credited with promoting a less confrontational atmosphere. The presence of more women in troop contingents is also credited with higher reporting of sexual and gender-based violence, as well as lower incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse.”

Frankel continued, “This strong bipartisan bill works for the people to strengthen our national and economic security. It includes an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, gives our troops a pay raise, establishes a confidential reporting option for sexual harassment complaints made by military service members, and creates a process to rename military bases named after confederate figures and encourages the Department of Defense to consider service women who have served with valor as candidates for their renaming.”

For a full summary of the legislation, click here. It passed the House by a vote of 295 to 125. If the Senate passes its own bill, members will reconcile the differences to then send the result to the President’s desk for a signature.

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