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House-Passed Defense Bill Mentions ‘Gender’ 29 Times, Establishes a ‘Gender Advisor Workforce’

Craig Bannister | July 21, 2022 | 11:16am EDT
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(Getty Images/Saeed Khan)

The word “gender” is mentioned 29 times in the House-passed version of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which also formally establishes a full-time, funded, stationed, and resourced “Gender Advisor Workforce.”

H.R. 7900, which easily passed the House by a margin of more than three-to-one (329-101), ensures all-gender coverage of artificial reproductive services, examines differences in recruitment and home ownership by gender - and even conducts gender-based services to foreign military and counts the number of people evacuated from Afghanistan by gender:

  • Gender Advisor Workforce: Develop and manage a Gender Advisor Workforce throughout the Department of Defense.
  • Artificial Reproductive Services: Grant coverage regardless of gender marital status.
  • Fitness Requirements: Establish gender-neutral fitness standards.
  • Recruitment Efforts: quantify gender of those enlisted by region and Army Recruitment Battalion area.
  • Barriers to Homeownership: study differences in enlistment correlated with gender.
  • Foreign Militaries: Conduct/Advise/Support foreign militaries in providing appropriate gender-sensitive equipment and facilities.
  • Foreign Militaries: Conduct/Advise/Support foreign military establishment, training, and development of gender advisory workforces.
  • Afghanistan Evacuation: Account for the total number of individuals evacuated from Afghanistan in 2021 with support of the United States Government, disaggregated by gender.

In comparison, while “gender” is mentioned 29 times in the bill, "Iran," which poses the threat of obtaining nuclear weapons, is mentioned just 17 times.

The majority of the mentions of “gender” are devoted to establishing and developing a “Gender Advisor Workforce” throughout the Department of Defense, especially in its military branches. Gender advisors will be credentialed and departments will be required to conduct “self-assessment.”

Specifically, the bill requires the Secretary of Defense to:

  • Establish and develop the gender advisor role into a full-time, billeted, and resourced position across organizations within the Department of Defense, including the military departments, Armed Forces, the combatant commands, and defense agencies and field activities,
  • Develop and standardize position descriptions of the gender advisor workforce, including gender advisors and gender focal points,
  • Create a credentialing program for gender advisors, and
  • Require self-assessment of the Department's progress in implementing a fully-trained cadre of gender advisors.

The full text of the section providing for the Gender Advisory Workforce is presented below:

SEC. 1206. SECURITY COOPERATION PROGRAMS WITH FOREIGN PARTNERS TO

              ADVANCE WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURITY.

 

    (a) In General.--Subchapter V of chapter 16 of title 10, United

States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``Sec. 353. Women, peace, and security programs

    ``(a) In General.--The Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence

of the Secretary of State, may conduct or support security cooperation

programs and activities involving the national military or national-

level security forces of a foreign country or other covered personnel

to advise, train, and educate such forces or such other covered

personnel with respect to--

            ``(1) the recruitment, employment, development, retention,

        promotion, and meaningful participation in decision making of

        women and underrepresented groups;

            ``(2) sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic abuse,

        and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence that

        disproportionately impact women and underrepresented groups;

            ``(3) the integration of gender analysis into security

        sector policy, planning, exercises, and training;

            ``(4) the requirements of women and underrepresented

        groups, including providing appropriate gender sensitive

        equipment and facilities;

            ``(5) the development of educational curriculum on women,

        peace, and security within professional military education

        programming and other security forces training;

            ``(6) the establishment, training, and development of

        gender advisory workforces within women, peace, and security

        programs; and

            ``(7) the implementation of activities described in this

        subsection.

    ``(b) Payment of Expenses for Advancement of Objectives.--The

Secretary of Defense may pay for the travel, transportation, and

subsistence expenses of national military and national-level security

forces of a foreign country or other covered personnel that the

Secretary considers necessary for the advancement of the objectives of

this section.

    ``(c) Other Covered Personnel Defined.--In this section, the term

`other covered personnel' means personnel of--

            ``(1) the ministry of defense, or a governmental entity

        with a similar function, of a foreign country;

            ``(2) a regional organization with a security mission;

            ``(3) personnel of a friendly foreign government other than

        personnel of national security forces; or

            ``(4) personnel of a non-governmental organization.''.

    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of

subchapter V of chapter 16 of title 10, United States Code, is amended

by adding at the end the following new item:

 

``353. Women, peace, and security programs.''.

    (c) Women, Peace, and Security Curricula for Pre-commissioning

Education Programs and Joint Professional Military Education.--

            (1) Integration of women, peace, and security curricula.--

        The Secretary of Defense shall develop a plan to incorporate

        women, peace, and security studies as a component of the core

        curricula of pre-commissioning education programs and joint

        professional military education programs to further

        implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017

        (Public Law 115-68; 22 U.S.C. 2151 note), including an analysis

        of the resources needed to develop a standardized women, peace,

        and security curriculum.

            (2) Report.--Not later than one year after the date of the

        enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to

        the appropriate congressional committees a report detailing the

        plan developed under paragraph (1).

            (3) Briefing.--Not later than 180 days after the date of

        the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall brief

        the appropriate congressional committees on the report under

        paragraph (2) detailing the plan developed under paragraph (1).

            (4) Definitions.--In this subsection:

                    (A) The term ``appropriate congressional

                committees'' means--

                            (i) the Committee on Armed Services and the

                        Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of

                        Representatives; and

                            (ii) the Committee on Armed Services and

                        the Committee on Foreign Relations of the

                        Senate.

                    (B) The term ``joint professional military

                education program'' means a program or course of

                instruction established pursuant to a provision of

                chapter 107 of title 10, United States Code.

                    (C) The term ``pre-commissioning education

                program'' means a program or course of instruction

                established for--

                            (i) the United States Military Academy;

                            (ii) the United States Naval Academy; or

                            (iii) the United States Air Force Academy.

    (d) Plan for Development and Management of Gender Advisor

Workforce.--

            (1) Plan required.--The Secretary of Defense shall develop

        and implement a plan to standardize the role and duties of the

        gender advisor workforce of the Department of Defense

        responsible for supporting the implementation of the Women,

        Peace, and Security Act of 2017 (Public Law 115-68; 22 U.S.C.

        2151 note).

            (2) Elements.--The plan required by paragraph (1) shall

        consist of such elements relating to the development and

        management of the gender advisor workforce, including an

        assessment of--

                    (A) the funds, resources, and authorities needed to

                establish and develop the gender advisor role into a

                full-time, billeted, and resourced position across

                organizations within the Department of Defense,

                including the military departments, Armed Forces, the

                combatant commands, and defense agencies and field

                activities;

                    (B) the actions the Secretary will take to develop

                and standardize position descriptions of the gender

                advisor workforce, including gender advisors and gender

                focal points, across organizations within the

                Department;

                    (C) the Department's existing training programs for

                gender advisors and gender focal points, including the

                creation and funding of a credentialing program for

                gender advisors to foster the development of a

                professionalized cadre of gender advisors.

                    (D) a self-assessment of the Department's progress

                in implementing a fully trained cadre of gender

                advisors appropriately placed within the Department and

                a plan to address any gaps or deficiencies; and

                    (E) the actions the Secretary will carry out for

                incorporating the total amount of expenditures and

                proposed appropriations necessary to support the

                program, projects, and activities of the gender advisor

                workforce into future years defense program submissions

                to Congress.

            (3) Report.--Not later than one year after the date of the

        enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to

        the appropriate congressional committees a report detailing the

        Secretary's progress in implementing the plan required by

        paragraph (1).

            (4) Definitions.--In this subsection--

                    (A) the term ``appropriate congressional

                committees'' means--

                            (i) the Committee on Armed Services and the

                        Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of

                        Representatives; and

                            (ii) the Committee on Armed Services and

                        the Committee on Foreign Relations of the

                        Senate; and

                    (B) the term ``gender advisor workforce'' means all

                gender advisors and gender focal points across the

                Department of Defense.

 

        Subtitle B--Matters Relating to Afghanistan and Pakistan

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