Keeping Score: Carolyn Maloney’s Latest Milestone

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too, in this weekly round-up by Managing Digital Editor Carmen Rios.


This Week’s Top Story

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was elected Chair of the House Oversight Committee Wednesday in a caucus-wide vote, making history as the first woman to ever hold the position.

Maloney has represented her district, including much of New York City, for 14 terms, and is a feminist champion known, among other reasons, for her leadership in the fights to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and build a National Women’s History Museum. In her new post, she will take the reigns of one of the most powerful committees in Congress, and play a pivotal role in the unfolding Trump impeachment probe.

Lest We Forget

+ Dr. Kristyn Brandi—a bisexual, Latinx OB/GYN—in a statement announcing her as the new board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health, effective immediately: “I want people to have full control over their bodies and decisions. I want people to be able to exercise their reproductive life goals—if they have them—free of personal and political coercion. I want patients to have access to the same reproductive health care regardless of their zip code, their reproductive history, the labels they carry or their doctors’ preferences. I want everyone to feel confident about the bodies they are in and be able to understand how they work without politics blocking the facts.”

+ Rep. Carolyn Maloney, in testimony during a House Oversight Committee hearing: “It is time for the elected representatives in Congress, and in state houses across the country, to protect the right to privacy and a woman’s right to abortion services—rather than attack it, undermine it and try to eliminate it.”

Milestones

+ It’s been 25 years since the original International Conference on Population and Development. What progress has the world made for women and girls since 1994?

+ The Schlecht family and Family Planning 2020, with the support of the United Nations Foundation, have established the Jennifer Schlecht Memorial Fund to help women and girls in crisis situations access sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning. The fund will funnel donations toward designated organizations working to provide sexual and reproductive health services in humanitarian settings.

+ A Harriet Tubman museum will open in New Jersey next year.

How We’re Doing

+ 2020 Women on Boards has been tracking the progress of women on corporate boards in the U.S. over the last 10 years—and its annual 2019 Gender Diversity Index, released this week, found that women corporate directors now, for the first time, hold the historic milestone of 20.4 percent board seats nationally. According to their findings, women now hold 20.4 percent of the board seats of Russell 3000 companies and more than 20 percent of board seats in five of nine industrial sectors. But even though women gained 811 board seats between last summer and this summer, 311 Russell 3000 companies in the study still don’t have a single woman on their board. (Read the study here.)

+ New research from the telemedical abortion service Women on Web found that, during a nine-month period, 172 women living in the Netherlands completed an online consultation with the organization for abortion. Ten of those women lived more than an hour from a hospital or abortion clinic; 38 were undocumented, uninsured or had foreign health insurance and could not afford an abortion. The major obstacles they faced in obtaining care included having to keep the abortion a secret, the cost of the procedure, stigma and anti-abortion harassment, domestic violence and a lack of childcare. Nearly half wanted the privacy of an at-home abortion. (Study, in Dutch, is here.)

+ In the U.S., a new study from researchers at Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health found that telemedicine care reduces logistical and financial barriers to accessing care. According to their research, telemedicine patients were more likely than in-person patients to live out of state and further away from clinics offering informed consent visits, and telemedicine reduced travel costs and minimized and mitigated any delays in access related to in-person care. (Read more here.)

About

Carmen Rios is the Managing Digital Editor at Ms. and has spent over a decade raising hell in feminist media. Her work has been published by outlets like the Atlantic's CityLab, BuzzFeed, ElixHER, Feministing, Girlboss, Mic, MEL and Everyday Feminism; and she also spent six years writing and editing for Autostraddle, was a founding blogger and activist with the SPARK Movement and was the inaugural managing editor of THE LINE Campaign blog. Carmen is additionally a co-founder of Webby-nominated Argot Magazine.