Women who fight in wars also have to fight for their right to do so. But what are the obstacles impeding their progress in achieving equal status as both active service members and as veterans? This book, written by a team of female veterans and military scholars, demonstrates the ways in which women service members and veterans experience a unique set of challenges when attempting to both honorably serve their country and reintegrate into civilian society following military service. These challenges include – but are not limited to – discrimination, staggering rates of suicide, and barriers to obtaining treatment for military sexual trauma and other critical benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Women Veterans: Lifting the Veil of Invisibility examines current service-related policies and gender in the military’s hierarchical power structure. Here, a confluence of white male privilege and entitlement, the culture of domination, and the effeminization of the enemy manifest themselves as a backlash against women, calling into question a woman’s agency and her very status as a citizen. Special attention in the book is paid to the civil-military divide, representative bureaucracy, and the function of the military and civilian justice systems. Moreover, the need for appropriate healthcare policies and structures is examined within a ‘wicked problems’ framework. The authors conclude that the responsibility for women veterans, and all veterans for that matter, must become a matter of compelling government interest. This ground-breaking book is required reading for practitioners of public policy and administration with an interest in military and veterans affairs, public health, NGOs and activist groups, as well as scholars of gender and public service, public personnel management, and nonprofit management.

part I|10 pages


part II|9 pages


chapter 1|13 pages

Women as Warriors

chapter 2|16 pages

Women as Other

chapter 3|16 pages

Women as Supporters and Caregivers

chapter 4|9 pages

Women as Sex Objects

chapter 5|14 pages

Women as Marginalized

part III|3 pages

On Citizenship

chapter 6|12 pages

Agency and Second-Class Status

chapter 7|15 pages

Who Is a Veteran?

chapter 8|15 pages

The Selective Service Act

chapter 9|10 pages

The Equal Rights Amendment

At the Crossroads of Defining Women’s Citizenship

chapter 10|27 pages

The Combat Exclusion Policy

part IV|3 pages

Military Culture

chapter 11|12 pages

White Male Privilege

chapter 12|13 pages

A Culture of Domination

chapter 13|10 pages

The Effeminization of the Enemy

chapter 14|12 pages

Backlash against Women

part V|57 pages

Women and Power

chapter 15|9 pages

Women in Power

chapter 16|13 pages

Women as Tokens

chapter 17|16 pages

Women as Proxies for Men

chapter 18|17 pages

The Role of Equalizers

part VI|1 pages

The Civil–Military Divide

chapter 19|6 pages

Who Serves in the Military?

chapter 20|7 pages

The Notion of Representative Bureaucracy

chapter 21|12 pages

Legal Frameworks Apart

The Military v. Civilian Justice Systems

part VII|2 pages

Confronting Wicked Problems: The Role of Health and Violence

chapter 22|38 pages

Determinants of Health

chapter 23|18 pages

Impact of Military Sexual Trauma

chapter 26|10 pages

The Ethics of Responsibility

part VIII|18 pages