07:32 GMT +312 November 2019
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    Women in army

    US Women May be Forced to Register for Military Draft by 2018

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    The US Senate armed services panel has prepared an amendment that, if approved, would require women to register for military service. The move aims primarily to guarantee a debate about gender equality in the military.

    The proposal, called the Draft America’s Daughters Act (DADA), was rolled out on Thursday by the Senate Armed Services Committee. It followed the approval of a similar draft by the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee last month.

    “Because the Department of Defense has lifted the ban on women serving in ground combat units, the committee believes there is no further justification in limiting the duty to register under the Military Selective Service Act to men,” the proposal reads.

    The United States has had a volunteer military since the 1970s, but it reserves the right to reinstate conscription. For that purpose, all American men are obliged by law to register with Selective Service shortly after they turn 18.

    American women have never been subject to registration for the draft or military conscription.

    US Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who introduced DADA, said his aim was to raise debate on the issue. He suggested that women don’t want to be drafted, adding that it is “irresponsible” to make such a decision “without the American people having a say.”

    “If this Administration wants to send 18 to 20-year-old women into combat, to serve and fight on the front lines, then the American people deserve to have this discussion through their elected representatives.”

    US Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX), the chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee, said he would oppose DADA, and would submit an amendment to eliminate the proposal.

    To be shaped as law, DADA must be approved by the full House and Senate, as well as by the President, who puts laws into force. Under the quickest scenario, women could become subject to draft registration by 2018.

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    conscription, military draft, Selective Service, Senate Armed Services Committee, Pentagon, United States
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