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Next draft could potentially include both women and men

Adele Bonomi, Senior Reporter

Young women may soon have to register for the Selective Service when they turn 18 and sign themselves up for a potential military draft following a federal judge’s ruling last month that the exclusion of women in the draft is unconstitutional.

A final report on the court case is expected in 2020 and the decision — which would require all 18-year-olds, no matter their sex, to register for the Selective Service — will be up to Congress on whether or not to implement the court’s recommendations.

Caroline Schulberg, head of the EmpowHER, a club focused on starting conversation about women in society, says that including women in the draft would not only empower new women to join the military, but also eliminate stereotypes about all women in service.

“The military is often solely associated with masculinity, however, if women join the draft there would be more to help break down that stereotype and prove it wrong,” Schulberg, who is a senior said, said. “Women in the military show society that women are just as capable as men in protecting our country.”

The Selective Service, an agency that has been historically used to draft men into the military, was the subject of Judge

Gray Miller’s ruling because the service has not been used since 1973 but costs the U.S. government $24 million a year.

The service requires males from 18 to 25 to register and holds their information in case a draft is necessary. Those who choose not to register can face consequences such as not being eligible for federal student aid, federal job training or a federal job.

The Selective Service could be eliminated entirely or could transition to a volunteer-only registration, where only those who show interest sign up, according to Military Advantage.

“The military is rewarding because since it is a man-dominated position and you are in the same position, you are breaking all types of stereotypes,” a female soldier from the U.S. Army Golden Gate Recruitment Center, who was not authorized to speak to the press, said. “When I first went into [the military] I was not allowed in combat arms, but now that everything is possible, women can do anything [in the Army] that we want to.”

Miller’s ruling establishes that the current draft policy will remain unchanged, and no current recommendations are being put in to Congress, so no active actions are in place to change laws.

“Women being included in the draft has been a long time coming,” Sarah Garlinghouse, former women’s studies teacher, said. “I am a big believer in the Equal Rights Amendment, and I hope that one day it will be added to the Constitution.”

The Equal Rights Amendment failed to be ratified in 1979 partly because of opposition to having women in the draft, according to Garlinghouse.

“I think that we could look at other countries that have drafted women, notably Israel, and see that it has been successful,” Garlinghouse said. “This presents another opportunity to overcome obstacles in the quest for gender equality.”

Israel has required both men and women to register for the draft since 1948 and women make up 20 percent of its professional army today, according to Jewish Women’s Archives.

Norway’s parliament also voted for women to be included in the draft in 2013, making Norway the first European country to draft women, according to Democrats Abroad.

“I have a son, and I understand that one day he could be drafted,” Garlinghouse said. “But if I had a daughter, I would be just as OK with her being drafted as well.”