Today, there are over 350,000 service women and 2 million women veterans in the United States – the highest number ever in history. Their voices must be heard. Women have served and fought in every conflict since the American Revolution. Despite their critical contributions to our national security, women continue to face barriers. These barriers exist both in the military and when they leave military service when accessing the VA benefits and services they have earned.
The Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) is the voice of all military women – past, present, and future. We are a member-driven community network advocating for the individual and collective needs of service women. SWAN’s priorities are guided by our members, who include thousands of women and men, service members, and civilians alike.
We are committed to seeing that all service women receive the opportunities, protections, benefits, and respect they deserve. Our goal is to ensure all service women and women veterans have access to the information, tools, and support they need to reach their personal and professional goals.
Since our founding in 2007, SWAN has been the only organization that advocates for and supports the needs of both service women and women veterans, regardless of rank, military branch, or years of experience. With over 40,000 nonprofits in America working to serve the needs of veterans and military personnel, this is an important distinction. While women service members and veterans have benefited from many support programs, the majority of them are still designed, by default, to meet the needs of men. We’re making sure that changes.
SWAN has played a significant role in shaping the outcome of many important issues affecting military women. Our efforts include opening all military jobs to service women, expanding access to services for a broad range of reproductive healthcare services, working to hold sex offenders accountable in the military justice system and eliminating barriers to disability claims for those who have experienced military sexual trauma. But our work is not done.
SWAN has developed a network of vetted resources that are uniquely qualified to address challenges service women face including access to healthcare, housing, workplace discrimination, caseworkers, family and financial services, employment and transition, legal services and alternative therapies.
SWAN brings together military women and organizations across the country to amplify the voices of service women on a national scale through media, networking events, and by founding the Military Women’s Coalition an organization that has united local women veteran organizations around the country.
SWAN is the driving force behind laws and policies that seek to change military culture, increase opportunities for women, eliminate sexual violence, and adequately address the needs of women veterans.