Now that the Pentagon has opened up combat positions to women, the Senate has voted on, and approved, a defense bill that would require women to sign up for the military draft when they turn 18. It would be the first time in American history that women are required to sign up for the draft (also known as Selective Services).

The vote signals a major shift around the role of women in society, and as The New York Times points out, the effect of a military draft split among men and women “would likely be profound.” America has not had a military draft since the Vietnam War.

Here’s what the policy proposes, via the Times:

Under the Senate bill passed on Tuesday, women turning 18 on or after Jan. 1, 2018, would be forced to register for Selective Service, as men must do now. Failure to register could result in the loss of various forms of federal aid, including Pell grants, a penalty that men already face. Because the policy would not apply to women who turned 18 before 2018, it would not affect current aid arrangements.


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