Air Force reviewing policies that may affect airmen due to their gender

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Tech. Sgt. Erica Bermansolo of the 124th Medical Group, Idaho Air National Guard, portrays a simulated pregnant tsunami survivor during the Pathfinder-Minuteman Exercise, Aug. 5, 2015 at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Ore. Photo by Tech. Sgt. John Winn

The undersecretary of the US Air Force has announced that the force will be looking to shoot down policies that favor or hinder one gender over the other.

Speaking at an Orlando conference on March 3, USAF Undersecretary Gina Ortiz Jones announced a wide-ranging probe into certain policies affecting airmen and guardians based on gender.

According to the Air Force Times, Jones came up with the idea after she noticed a peculiar waiver on a female enlisted Airman’s application to become an officer.

“She had to get a waiver because she was pregnant,’ Jones said at the Air Force Association’s annual conference. “Why would somebody applying to be an officer need to submit a waiver just because they’re pregnant?”

Jones then stated that she would take a personal interest in making gender-related policies a non-issue for personnel.

“What are these that need to stay on the books? What are these that need to be modified and which of these need to go away?” Jones said.

Some changes include those involving international partnerships, particularly allies who do not allow women to train in their programs.

While the nation that does not allow women to train doesn’t name, active participants in such programs include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Norway, Pakistan, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

“If the premise is that there are chalkboards that only teach male students, I don’t accept that,” Jones said. “It’s got to be about making sure we’re affording opportunities to all of our service members.”

Other issues include childcare, primary caregiver status and promotions.

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