This Week in Women: Why Gender Matters on the Campaign Trail and in the C-Suite

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; sign up here to receive it regularly.

Our Votes, Our Voices, Our Vision

This week kicked off on Monday morning with news on the major new force women are playing in the 2018 U.S. midterm elections. “Women are proving to be the most powerful political force in the country right now,” Axios wrote, and backed that up with crazy historic data. “In the 65 Democratic primaries so far with at least one man and one woman, and no incumbent, women defeated men in 45 races; men defeated women in 18.” More women turn out to vote, too.

Hello 2020! Hopes for a first woman president are alive and well.

Also this week, Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment after a battle that lasted nearly four decades. The amendment guarantees equal rights for all regardless of gender. If one more state approves it, it could change the U.S. Constitution—and, at long last, put women within it.

Nonetheless, in financial power circles, women are still absent. Barron’s released their “top 11 most visionary founders” last weekend. There wasn’t a single woman on this list, and just three women appeared in the top 30.

One female CEO was in the news this week: ABC President Channing Dungey, the first female, African-American head of a major television network, who swiftly canceled the hit TV show Roseanne on Tuesday, following an incredibly “repugnant” and racist tweet the actor made about Obama staffer Valerie Jarrett.

Corporations are more profitable than ever, Barron’s reported, and more powerful than ever in shaping the lives of everyday citizens. Yet we’re not seeing enough female leadership.

So, whose vision are we living in?

More Stories From The Week

Undocumented children being separated from their families as they cross into the U.S. continues to dominate the news. However, reports earlier this week that 1,500 children were “missing” were not wholly correct. CNN clarified on Tuesday. Nonetheless, Trump’s policy is to separate children from detained parents at the border—and as the administration continues the practice, Ivanka Trump was criticized for posting an untimely photo.

Wisconsin said Tuesday that it had (finally) sent the last of its 6,800 rape kitsto private labs for DNA testing that could help identify the attacker. Some of these kits date back to rapes that occurred in the 1980s. Kind of unbelievable, especially as abundant evidence exists that many rapists are repeat attackers. But this year, thanks to media attention, the issue became a political football in Wisconsin’s race for attorney general, and things got fast tracked. More and more state legislatures in the U.S. are taking action to test the hundreds of thousands of rape kits gathering dust in police warehouses and hospital backrooms. Last week, Missouri “found” 4,900 untested kits.

Indian women living in the U.S. could be jeopardized by President Trump’s pledge to crack down on the H-1B visa program, reports the Huffington Post. Many Indian women arrive in the U.S. as wives of highly skilled workers, and Obama had allowed some of them to receive work permits. Now, their future is uncertain.

A transgender woman from Honduras died from an apparent heart attack in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. NBC News takes a deep dive into the conditions of detention facilities and the circumstances surrounding her death.

This New York Times Magazine cover story explores how the leader of a sex cult now accused of trafficking lured his female victims.

Women in Raqqa, Syria are taking on new roles in the security forces, schools and local businesses as they fight to bring their city back after the defeat of ISIS.

This short film takes you to the highlands of Guatemala, where women’s livelihoods are tied to the coffee we drink. Climate change has made it harder for them to sustain their coffee farms.

In Australia, four out of five victims of intimate partner homicide are women, and almost half the women who are killed are murdered within three months of separating from their partner.



Christina Asquith is former editor for Across Women’s Lives at PRI’s The World and founder/editor in chief of the Fuller Project for International Reporting, which contributed this story and which works with Peace Is Loud on women, peace and security issues.