This Week in Women: Gun Violence, Abortion and Nuclear War

This Week in Women is part of a series produced in partnership between Ms. and the Fuller Project for International Reporting. This column is also part of a newsletter by Across Women’s Lives. Sign up and receive it regularly here.  

Audrey Penven / Creative Commons

As we’re all wrestling with “what now” following Sunday’s massacre in Las Vegas, several thoughtful pieces emerged this week looking at the role of women and gun violence. Jill Filipovic’s commentary in TIME is worth reading in its entirety to understand how fully absent women are from this problem, except as the victim:

Of 134 mass shooters who’ve preyed on Americans since 1966, just three have been women, making mass shooting a 98 percent male enterprise. More broadly, 90 percent of murderers are men—firearms are used in close to 70 percent of homicides.

America women are 11 times more likely to be killed by a firearm than women in any other developed nation, and this LA Times piece has a lot more on how stricter gun laws save women’s lives. Groups like @MomsDemand are growing in attention and membership. But the policy response to Las Vegas—to ban bump stocks—must disappoint. For example, 41 states still allow domestic violence offenders to keep guns they already have in their homes. Clearly we need more reporting on gun violence and women, like what we’re seeing from the investigative journalists at The Marshall Project, run by editor Bill Keller.

In other news this week, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, headed by Beatrice Fihn, was just awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work promoting the banning of nuclear weapons. Women-led groups are also at the forefront of advocacy to keep the peace with North Korea. Meanwhile, Fortune Magazine noted that only .01 percent of Nobel prizes in physics have ever gone to women.

In Washington, a USA Today op-ed looked at the women, peace and security legislation that just passed Congress, and is heading to President Trump’s desk as soon as next week.

On U.S. women’s health this week, Trump today is trying to roll back federal requirements for employers to include birth control coverage in health insurance plans. Glamour penned an in-depth piece looking at the failing Republicans effort to legislate a 20 week abortion ban. And a Pennsylvania congressman who advocates for laws restricting women’s access to abortion was caught encouraging his mistress to have an abortion. Classic.

Christina Asquith is founder of The Fuller Project for International Reporting.

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