Sexism and “Hysteria” in Brazilian Politics

In a recent article published in a major Brazilian magazine, IstoÉ (This is), President Dilma Rousseff was depicted as having lost the emotional and cognitive capacity to run the country, with a front page close-up portrait of her contorted face and allegations that she had had “successive nervous explosions,” and was “showing a complete disconnection […]

How Canada Finally Axed Its Federal Tampon Tax

As American activists embark on a journey to end the so-called “tampon tax,” they’ll want to look to activists in countries that have successfully lifted similar taxes in recent times. Canada happens to be one of those nations. According to canadianmentruators.ca, Canadians collectively spent $519,976,963 on menstrual products in 2014 (before tax). With a 5 […]

6 Places to Celebrate International Anti-Street Harassment Week

From the age of five, gender-based street harassment has been an undercurrent in my life—even on my wedding day last year. I was in a grocery store parking lot when two men told me I looked beautiful, then immediately escalated into sexually explicit comments about my body, making me feel dirty and humiliated. I am […]

‘There Is a Long Struggle Ahead’: One Woman’s Fight for Justice in Rural India

The profile below is part of the Ms. Blog’s “Telling Her Story” series for Women’s History Month. Check back throughout March for more profiles of women doing great things in their communities. In the jungles and towns of Bastar, India, where the atmosphere is marked by extreme hostility and suspicion, living with fear is the default mode […]

How Europe is Failing Women and Girls on the Migration Route 

Oumo, from sub-Saharan Africa, was forced to trade sex twice for a fake passport and passage to Turkey on her way to Greece. Noor, a pregnant mother of two, was freezing and in severe pain as she waited for a train near the Serbian-Croatian border, unknowingly sitting just meters away from medical services. The journey […]

Where Writers Aren’t Free

Five decades of military rule in Myanmar have kept it politically isolated, economically undeveloped and, in terms of freedom of expression, very unfree. That may be about to change. In last November’s election, the National League for Democracy party (NLD), headed by populist leader and writer Aung San Suu Kyi, won nearly 80 percent of seats. […]

Tackling Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights at the U.N.

Negotiations for a sustainable global development agenda came to a close in 2015 at the United Nations. Despite political and economic differences, countries rallied to support the resulting Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 (SDGs). On paper, Agenda 2030 offers significant gains for women and girls—provided the 17 goals and 169 targets are fully implemented. During […]

Sister to Sister: Why a Group of Nuns are Going Undercover as Sex Workers

For the last five years, more 1,000 nuns have been going undercover as sex workers to help women trafficked into prostitution and sex slavery. And while you’ve probably never heard of them, the sisters of Talitha Kum—a reference to the Gospel of Mark meaning, “Maiden, I say to you, arise” in Aramaic—are worthy of your attention. The sisters run prevention […]

Why the Next U.N. Secretary-General Must Be a Woman and a Feminist

The United Nations—an institution dedicated to global peace, security and justice—has often felt like an all-boys club. Since 1946, eight men have occupied the hallowed position of secretary-general of the U.N. From Norway’s Trygve Lie to Korea’s Ban Ki-moon—the current secretary-general who will step down at the end of 2016—these men have played a central […]

Deepening Global Income Inequality Leaves Women Stuck Paying the Tab

According to a new report from Oxfam International, just 62 individuals now own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population (roughly 3.5 billion people) with one group paying the highest price for global income inequality: women. Released ahead of World Economic Forum‘s (WEF) 46th annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, which runs Jan. 20 […]