Inside the Center for Women Veterans - Center for Women Veterans (CWV)
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Center for Women Veterans (CWV)


Inside the Center for Women Veterans

From the Desk of the Executive Director

My Dear Sister Veterans,

I hope you are all continuing to stay safe and be well. I come to you this month to share some stories. First, during this pandemic CWV is here to support our women Veterans, you can reach us during normal business hours at 00w@VA.Gov or on our Facebook @VAWomenVets. We are all facing many things during this hard time. Receiving the care, you need at a time like this is especially important, and the VA is still open for business to help. If you need care, please contact your local VA Medical Center first, you can also call or text the Women Veterans Call Center at 1-855-VA-WOMEN (829-6636) or chat online.

June is a busy month as we bring awareness to PTSD, recognize Pride Month, and celebrate Women Veterans Day. We are always looking for feedback about more things you would like to see on our CWV site and social media and welcome you to share women Veterans events with us to share for you. The “I AM NOT INVISIBLE” (IANI) Campaign is growing, and I ask you to stay tuned, we are excited to share this with you along with other things to come.

We lost one of our IANI sister Veteran greats, Marion Senteno. I had the opportunity to meet her in Texas during their grand opening of the I Am Not Invisible. She was warm and kind and I’ll never forget how proud she was to be a part of something really big…being a Sister Veteran.

Anna Baker, Manager at the Veteran Entrepreneur Program with the Texas Veterans Commission shared with us the following note:

“It is with sadness that I share with you the passing of Marion Senteno, Her daughter notified me yesterday saying that she “was so humbled and proud of her military service for perhaps the first time in her life” being part of the I Am Not Invisible campaign.”

Please join us in celebrating our Sister Veteran, Marion Senteno.

Remember To Stay Safe And Healthy,

My Best To You,

Jacquelyn Hayes-Byrd, Executive Director
Center For Women Veterans
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington D.C.
June 5, 2020

2020 National Summit on Women Veterans Issues - Postponed

I hope you are all doing well and staying safe during this time of uncertainty and change. I want to personally send this note to let you know how appreciated you are as well as to let everyone know that we here at VA continue to work on your behalf to ensure that your needs are met. We here at the Center for Women Veterans (CWV) always strive to put the safety of our employees, Veterans and our partners first. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to postpone the CWV 2020 Women Veterans Summit originally scheduled for October 2020 until 2021. We will be sure to follow up with you to ensure that you have a new 2021 Save the Date once it is locked in.

Our Mission

The Center for Women Veterans was established by Congress in November 1994 by Public Law (P.L.) 103-446.

  • To monitor and coordinate VA’s administration of health care and benefits services, and programs for women Veterans.
  • To serve as an advocate for a cultural transformation (both within VA and in the general public) in recognizing the service and contributions of women Veterans and women in the military.
  • To raise awareness of the responsibility to treat women Veterans with dignity and respect.
Our Leadership

Director, Center for Women Veterans
Jacquelyn Hayes-Byrd

Interested in making CWV a part of your event?  Request an CWV Speaker at your event.  Please complete the VA CWV Conference Invitation Request.  Requests can be emailed to  Please allow 10 business days for final decision.

How to Contact Us


Our Activities
  • The Director serves as primary advisor to the Secretary on the Department policies, programs, and legislation that affect women Veterans.
  • Monitor and coordinate with internal VA offices on their delivery of benefits and services to women Veterans.
  • Liaison with other Federal agencies, state and local agencies and organizations, and non-government partners.
  • Serve as a resource and referral center for women Veterans, their family and their advocates.
  • Educate VA staff on women Veterans military contributions.
  • Ensure that outreach materials portray and target women Veterans with images, messages, and branding in the media.
  • Promote recognition of women Veterans’ military service and contributions by sponsoring activities and special events.
  • Coordinate meetings of the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans.
Past Activities
  • African American History Month 2020 - On February 11, 2020 the Center for Women Veterans and the Center for Minority Veterans partnered to host a Special Screening of "The Six Triple Eight; No Mail, Low Morale."
  • Women Veterans with Disabilities are Valued - In April 2019, the Center for Women Veterans highlighted, “Women Veterans with Disabilities are Valued” to raise national awareness of the contributions of women Veterans with disabilities and to tell their story of resilience.
  • Women Veteran Trailblazers Initiative - Each year CWV sponsors an annual campaign to celebrate the contributions of women Veterans. The 2019 Campaign launched on March 6, 2019, in honor of Women’s History Month and will continue throughout the year to celebrate women Veterans’ contributions during and after military service.
  • Pink Fridays - VA’s Center for Women Veterans recognized the strength and resiliency of Breast Cancer survivors by wearing pink on Fridays in October 2018.
  • Nationwide Baby Shower - To honor and support Veterans welcoming new babies into their families in 2018, VA hosted the very first Nationwide Baby Shower for Veterans in May 2018!
  • Women Veteran Athletes Initiative - To raise national awareness of the service, diversity, and resilience of women Veterans, in March 2018 VA’s Center for Women Veterans hosted an exhibit featuring 10 women Veteran Athletes in 10 VAMCs nationwide, after which it traveled to additional facilities.
  • Women Veterans Art Exhibit - 10 women Veteran artists had their art exhibited at VA medical centers around the country in 2017. VA’s Center for Women Veterans partnered with Veteran Artist Program (VAP) on this initiative.
  • 2017 National Women Veterans Summit
    The 2017 National Women Veterans Summit took place in Houston, Texas, on August 25-26, 2017. The women Veterans population accounts for 10 percent of U.S. Veterans, and that number is expected to grow to 15 percent by 2030.
  • “State of Women Veterans” Social Media Campaign
    From September-November 2016, VA conducted a “State of Women Veterans” social media campaign during which we provided weekly segments to explore issues impacting women Veterans and what we are doing to support women Veterans as they face these issues.
  • 2015 Women Veterans Campaign
    The Center for Women Veterans led a Women Veterans Campaign.  The Campaign consisted of forums, sessions, and workshop events in the five VA Districts, from June through September 2015.  Events showcased benefits and services for women Veterans.
  • 2011 National Training Summit on Women Veterans
  • 2010 Forum on Women Veterans
    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs hosted “A Forum on Women Veterans,” to engage and educate Veterans service organizations and women Veteran advocates about enhancements in VA services for women Veterans.
  • 2008 National Training Summit on Women Veterans
  • 2004 National Summit on Women Veterans
  • 2004 National Summit on Women Veterans Issues
Legislation Related to Women Veterans
  • P.L. 106-419 External link to a government website, “Veterans Benefits and Healthcare Improvement Act of 2000,” authorized special monthly compensation for women Veterans with a service connected mastectomy.  It also authorized benefits to children born of mothers who served in Vietnam and who have certain types of birth defects.
  • P.L. 107-330 External link to a government website, “Veterans Benefits Act of 2002,” authorized special monthly compensation for women Veterans who lost 25 percent or more of tissues from a single breast or both breast in combination (including loss by mastectomy or partial mastectomy) or has received radiation of breast tissues.
  • P.L. 108-422 External link to a government website, “Veterans Health Improvement Act&rduqo; authority permanently to extend Military Sexual Trauma counseling and treatment to active duty service members or active duty for training.
  • P.L. 110-186 External link to a government website, “Military Reservist and Veterans Small Business Reauthorization and Opportunity Act” established a Women Veterans business Training Resource Program.
  • P.L. 111-163 External link to a government website, “Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010,” provides contract for a comprehensive study on barriers to health care for women Veterans, pilot program to provide group readjustment counseling in retreat settings for newly separated women combat Veterans, mandates inclusion of recently separated women on Advisory Committees for Women Veterans, and requires VHA to carry out a 2 year pilot program to assess feasibility and advisability of offering child care to Veterans.


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