South African Named New Head of U.N. Women

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Three years ago this month, the United Nations merged four offices to create the UN Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women—UN Women—to strengthen efforts for gender equality and empowerment of girls and women worldwide. Last week, South Africa’s Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka was named the new head of the organization, expected to take leadership in […]

Barbara Brenner, Breast Cancer Activist, 1951-2013

Lawyer and activist Barbara Brenner led the organization Breast Cancer Action to national prominence, demanding not just “awareness” of the disease but research into causes and prevention. Although she overcame breast cancer herself, she died last week from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at age 61. Barbara Brenner put up her final Healthy Barbs blog post […]

Mary Thom, 1944-2013

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We were all shocked and saddened this weekend to learn of the passing of Mary Thom, an editor for decades at Ms. magazine, a historian of the first 30 years of Ms., and most recently editor-and-chief for the Women’s Media Center. Thom was riding her motorcycle on the Saw Mill Parkway in Yonkers, N.Y., when […]

Obama Appoints First Woman Director of the Secret Service

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The cinematic image of a Secret Service agent is a cheerless man of stocky build with thick sunglasses, whispering brusquely into his sleeve. He’s part of a traditionally imagined boy’s club, a masculine space where women are invisible. But in a historic move that may help disrupt the macho image and ethos that surrounds the […]

Happy Birthday, Gloria Steinem!!

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At 79, Gloria Marie Steinem–one of the founding editors of Ms. magazine–still carries the torch for the feminist movement with the same grace, fervor and boundless energy that she has for 40-plus years. As a journalist, theorist, speaker and activist, she challenges and inspires us to keep our own energy fresh for fighting the good feminist […]

100 Years Later: The Harriet Tubman Symposium

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We don’t know the exact date when the great and powerful Harriet Tubman (ca. 1820-1913) came into this temporal world, but we do know when she left it. One hundred years ago on this day, Harriet Tubman exhaled her final breath and spoke her last words to those at her side: “I go away to […]

Happy 100th Birthday, Revolutionary Rosa Parks

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It’s a story we’ve all been told: Small, quiet Rosa Parks refused to follow an Alabama bus driver’s order to give up her seat to a white passenger. Her subsequent arrest sparked the 1955-56 Montgomery Bus Boycott and cemented her position in American history textbooks as “the first lady of civil rights.” But the act of nonviolent […]

Pauline Philips, Beloved Columnist and Feminist, Dies at Age 94

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Pauline Friedman Phillips, author of the beloved “Dear Abby” advice column, passed away on Wednesday. She was 94 years old. Pauline began dispensing what would become her classic no-nonsense-yet-caring advice under her pen name Abigail Van Buren in 1956, the year she got a job as a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Before long […]

From Ms. Magazine to Top of the Media: We Heart Martha Nelson

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Martha Nelson, who worked as an editor for Ms. magazine in the 1980s, has been named editor-in-chief of Time Inc. The company publishes 21 U.S. magazines, including TIME, PEOPLE, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, FORTUNE and InStyle. She’s worked for the company for 20 years, most recently as editorial director. Most significantly, Nelson will be the first woman […]

Ride, Sally Ride: A Pioneer Dies, But Her Inspiration Lives On

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In the late 1970s, Sally Ride spotted a newspaper ad from NASA calling for applicants to its space program. She immediately knew that, as a young, intelligent woman about to receive her Ph.D in physics at Stanford University, this ad was for her. “I’m one of those people,” she thought. People. Not men, which all […]