What is Women Veterans Day (US)?

Introduction

Women Veterans Day is observed on 12 June in the United States, a date chosen to mark the anniversary of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act.

The date is not recognised nationally, but is recognised by a number of states, either through legislation or proclamation, and organisations.

The stated goal of Women Veterans Day varies somewhat by state, but can generally be acknowledged as an effort to honour the work of women in the United States Armed Forces and recognise the unique challenges that they have faced. The date was first recognised when the New York State Assembly declared 12 June 2008 to be Women Veterans’ Recognition Day.

National Recognition

While Women Veterans Day is currently only a state recognized commemoration, there is an effort to have the day recognised at a national level.

US Representative Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey introduced a resolution in both 2019 and 2020 to have June 12th officially recognised as “Women Veterans Appreciation Day.”

The purpose of the resolution is to address “the disparities in care, recognition and benefits that our women veterans receive” and to “highlight the growing presence of women in the Armed Forces and the National Guard; and pay respect to women veterans for their dutiful military service.”

In 2020, Senator Cory Booker submitted a companion resolution in the US Senate.

State Recognition

  • California:
    • Assembly Concurrent Resolution No.33 was filed with on June 23, 2015 and designated 12 June 2015 as Woman Veterans Day.
    • The bill’s goal was to “urge all citizens to join in celebrating the many contributions of women to our military forces.”
  • Indiana:
    • First recognised June 12th as Women Veterans Day in 2020.
  • Kentucky:
    • State Representative Patti Minter introduced House Bill 318 on in June 2020, calling on the state to designate the 12 June holiday.
    • Governor Andy Beshear first recognised the holiday by proclamation in 2020.
  • Michigan:
    • Governor Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed 12 June as Women Veterans Recognition Day in 2019 in response to a Senate resolution.
  • New Jersey:
    • In 2019, the acting Governor of New Jersey, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, signed legislation to designate the annual recognition of 12 June as “Women Veterans Appreciation Day.”
  • New York:
    • The State Assembly declared 12 June 2008 Women Veterans’ Recognition Day.
    • Section 168-A of New York State law designates that Women Veterans Recognition Day will be recognised every year on 12 June.
  • Ohio:
    • Senators, Sandra Williams and Frank Hoagland, both US military veterans, introduced a bill in 2019 to designate 12 June as Woman Veterans Day.
    • Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill into law on 13 December 2019 and the Ohio first celebrated the holiday on 12 June 2020.
  • Oregon:
    • Governor Kate Brown declared 12 June 2019 as Women Veterans Day for the first time in 2019.
  • South Carolina:
    • On 12 June 2019, South Carolina First Lady Peggy McMaster publicly read a proclamation declaring that the state recognised the day as Women Veterans Day, and Governor Henry McMaster issued another proclamation in 2020.
  • Texas:
    • State Representative Victoria Neave introduced House Bill 2698, which called for the designation of 12 June as Women Veterans Day.
    • Governor Greg Abbott signed it into law on 09 June 2017.
  • Wisconsin:
    • Governor Scott Walker signed a proclamation declaring 12 June 2018 Women Veterans Day and Governor Tony Evers continues to sign such proclamations through June 2020.
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