Location: National Mall, Washington, D.C.
Artist: Glenna Goodacre
Women in the Vietnam War were active in a large variety of roles, making significant impacts on the War and with the War having significant impacts on them.
Several million Vietnamese women served in the military and in militias during the War, particularly in the National Liberation Front of Vietnam, (also known as the Viet Cong), with the slogan "when war comes, even the women must fight" being widely used.These women made vital contributions on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, in espionage efforts, medical care, logistical and administrative work, and, in some cases, direct combat against opposing forces.
Civilian women also had significant impacts during the War, with women workers taking on more roles in the economy and Vietnam seeing an increase in legal women's rights. In Vietnam and around the world, women emerged as leaders of anti-war peace campaigns and made significant contributions to war journalism.
However, women still faced significant levels of discrimination during and after the War and were often targets of sexual violence and war crimes. Post-war, some Vietnamese women veterans faced difficulty reintegrating into civilian society and having their contributions recognised, as well as some advances in women's rights made during the War failing to be sustained.Portrayals of the War in fiction have also been criticised for their depictions of women, both for overlooking the role women played in the War and in reducing Vietnamese women to racist stereotypes.Women continue to be at the forefront of campaigns to deal with the aftermath of the War, such as the long-terms effect of Agent Orange use and the Lai Dai Han.
"When the women's liberation began, when the people started protesting against the Vietnam War, civil rights movement, at the beginning of those movements, the majority of the country was not with them, did not believe in the basic principles of any of those philosophies" - Michael Moore
The Vietnam Women’s Memorial is the first memorial in Washington D.C. honouring the women of the United States who served in the Vietnam War, most of whom were nurses. The sculpture was made by Glenna Goodacre and depicts 3 uniformed women with a wounded solider. It serves as a reminder of the importance of women in the conflict. It is part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and is located in National Mall.