Annenberg Radio

Should women be required to register for the military draft?

Almost all male U.S. citizens and immigrants 18-25 years old are

Recently, U.S. Congress has been debating on a 2022 bill that would require women to register for the military draft. Women between the ages of 18 and 26 would be required to register — although there hasn’t been a military draft in more than four decades.

Yusra Farzan is a USC graduate student and mother of a two-year-old daughter.

In the event of a women’s draft, she says mothers should be able to opt out. As a mother, she can’t imagine being away from her daughter.

YUSRA FARZAN: I don’t think I can spend more than a week at most away from her. I always tell people my heart now beats outside of my body. You know, I’m responsible for somebody else, and everything in my world revolves around her.

A first-year economics student, Rachit Das, says he sees both sides of why women should or shouldn’t be drafted to the military.

RACHIT DAS: Congress is trying to look at the more progressive view trying to bring women into the military but it will cause a lot of changes in society. The idea of the military is that a strong man from the family goes to join the military. Seeing the Congress and now trying to draft women as well, I think society will then recognize the strength, power of women. It’s a good step in the right direction for recognizing women in our society.

Recent USC Viterbi graduate Shaderica Lewis says her mother Eula is a veteran by choice and a single parent to two daughters. Lewis says women who are single mothers should only be drafted by choice.

SHADERICA LEWIS: We had to go stay with our grandma. She wasn’t there for the milestones of a young girl’s life, puberty and that kind of stuff, so it was definitely very difficult. It was like, before phones were out, so we had to send her letters.

For Lewis, growing up as a young girl without her mother was challenging but she says, without her mother’s sacrifice, she probably wouldn’t have a USC degree. If this bill is passed, it would be the first time in American history that women will register.