Keeping Score: Malala Talked to Lilly Singh About Courage While Women Voters Talked to Pollsters About 2020

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 biweekly roundup.

Lest We Forget

+ Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet, a grup which called for Harvey Weinstein to be fired and held accountable, in response to announcements that the survivors who accused him of sexual abuse had reached a tentative deal that would not require him to admit wrongdoing or pay anything to his accusers himself: “We support survivors—and that includes supporting survivors to make their own decisions to make deals with their abusers. But it’s hardly lost on us that these brave women made the only choice that was available to them under our flawed and disempowering judicial system. Survivors of sexual abuse deserve better.”


+ Mexican Maya writer Marisol “Sol” Ceh Moo is the first-ever woman to win the Indigenous Literature of the Americas Award.

+ The National Center for Lesbian Rights has announced that, effective in March, Imani Rupert-Gordon will become the organization’s new executive director.

+ Finland’s new Prime Minister is only the third woman to ever hold the post—and will lead a coalition government of four women-led parties. At 34, Sanna Marin is also the youngest world leader.

+ One year after the historic 2018 elections, the pink wave is still roaring. Just last month, attorney and small-business owner Angela Okafor became the first immigrant and first person of color elected as a councilor in Bangor, Maine.

+ Twenty-year-old figure skating champion Amber Glenn came out as bisexual and pansexual this week. The 2014 U.S. Junior National Champion will lead the U.S. team in 2020 at the World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal.

How We’re Doing

+ Abortion Care Network’s annual Communities Need Clinics report this year found that 3 out of 5 people who have abortions receive care at an independent clinic. The research also shows that parts of the country, independent clinics are the only places people can get abortion care:
In the six states that have only one abortion clinic, independent providers operate the last clinic in four of them—Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, and West Virginia—and in Wyoming, Alabama, and Louisiana, all abortion clinics remaining are independent; in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Georgia and Nevada, only medication abortion would be available without independent providers. But the dismal landscape for reproductive rights puts these providers at risk: The total number of independent clinics in the United States has decreased by more than 32 percent since 2012, and, as of November, ACN confirmed that 26 independent abortion clinics have closed this year. Read the report here.

+ YWCA USA—in partnership with Vote Run Lead, Supermajority, National Partnership for Women & Families and Better Life Lab of New America—released YWomenVote 2020 last week, a national survey of women focused on the 2020 election. According to the data, 78 percent of women believe the election will have a big impact on themselves and their families, and 85 percent are “almost certain” that they’ll vote in November. Across demographics, respondents said they were most concerned about having affordable and secure health insurance (69%) and being burdened with medical expenses (68%), keeping themselves and their families safe from mass shootings (73%) and gun violence (63%). The full results are available at

+ A new AARP poll of women voters age 50 and over—the first survey in AARP’s “She’s the Difference” series that will run throughout the 2020 election cycle—found that nearly all women in that age bracket (95%) are likely to vote, and that the issues driving them to the polls are healthcare and the economy. Nearly 7 in 10 respondents said they feel older people pay too much for healthcare compared to others. Nearly 4 in 10 reported being unable to afford to pay for their healthcare, and nearly 3 in 10 said they’ve skipped medical care because it was too expensive. The older women surveyed were more likely to say the economy is on the wrong track than men (48% of women vs. only 35% of men), and to say that the economy isn’t working for them personally (37% of women vs. only 23% of men). Read the full survey results here.


Carmen Rios is a self-proclaimed feminist superstar and the former digital editor at Ms. Her writing on queerness, gender, race and class has been published in print and online by outlets including BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, DAME, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic, the National Women’s History Museum, SIGNS and the Women’s Media Center; and she is a co-founder of Webby-nominated Argot Magazine. @carmenriosss|