A recent report from the Government Accountability Office found that women in the military have to spend significantly more of their own money on their uniforms than men, and Representative Elise M. Stefanik wants to do something about it.
According to a GAO report released in February, both enlisted women and female officers in the four major service branches must pay significantly more for uniform items excluded from their annual clothing allowances than men. The difference can sometimes be thousands of dollars more for women than for men in the same military service.
The law on equal pay for women in service, presented on Wednesday by representative Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, Rep. Karen Jackie Spier, D-California,and Representative Julia A. Brownley, D-Calif., would remedy the disparity by ordering secretaries in each branch of military service to take action that specifically reduces the difference in costs.
According to the GAO report, women pay between two and ten times as much out of pocket for their uniforms during their military careers, which works out to about $ 80 million per year.
In the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force, women have more uniform items than they can afford on their clothing allowances, and in the military, excluded items for women cost almost $ 250 more per year than men.
Part of the problem, according to the GAO, is that many uniform items such as underwear, bras, underwear, socks, and stockings cannot be purchased with the annual allowance. clothing granted to each serviceman that the military provides a one-time purchase allowance. these items for both sexes, but items for women tend to cost more than the equivalent for men.
The problem also varies by branch of service. In the Marine Corps, men receive annual cash allowances to replace their underwear, but women do not. In addition, women must have specific handbags for the army, dress shoes for the air force and the marine corps, and more expensive specific swimsuits for the navy.
The GAO report noted that women’s uniform items are often also personalized and therefore cost more than men’s equivalents.
The GAO found that out of the four major service branches, only Air Force men were able to keep replacement costs consistent under their allowances. Women in the Air Force, and men and women in all other branches, all had to pay at least $ 70 more than their allowances after five years. Women regularly had to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars more for their uniforms than men in the same branches of service.
In a statement, Representative Stefanik said the Equal Pay for Military Women Act is a direct and bipartisan solution to the disparity in the cost of uniforms for men and women.
The Equal Pay for Military Women Act is a simple solution to addressing a huge gender inequality in the U.S. military, Representative Stefanik said in a statement. Selfless military women in the Americas deserve equal consideration in all aspects of their service, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this bipartisan bill.
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