Keeping Score: Women’s Basketball Reaches New Heights; France Protects Abortion, While Florida Tightens Its Ban

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.

This week: Women’s college basketball smashed viewership records; France passed a constitutional amendment protecting abortion; Florida will soon have a six-week abortion ban; Beyoncé makes history on the country album charts; IWMF honors Palestinian journalist Samar Abu Elouf; Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) managed to include $1 billion for childcare in the fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills; federal employees will soon have access to insurance plans that cover fertility services; President Biden announced a new plan to cancel student debt; the Supreme Court allowed Idaho to maintain its ban on gender-affirming care for minors; and more.

Lauding the Taliban Despite Glaring Human Rights Abuses Normalizes Their Violence

Feridun Sinirlioğlu, the United Nations’ special coordinator for Afghan affairs, said last week that “good progress had been made in Afghanistan, and there is a “misunderstanding” between the international community and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

If gender apartheid is a misunderstanding, then it should be immediately recognized by the United Nations so the Taliban can be held accountable for their actions against Afghan women and girls.

‘Fireman’ v. ‘Firefighter’: These Lawmakers Want Less Gendered Language in the Law

Some lawmakers want to change the masculine default in government documents. Reps. Summer Lee (D-Pa.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) are introducing legislation that would replace masculine generics with gender-neutral language in the U.S. legal code.

The Equality in Our Laws Act would direct the Office of Law Revision Counsel (OLRC) to to make non-substantive, gender-neutral revisions to many portions of the legal code.

Ms. Global: Iran Installs Cameras for Veil Surveillance; The Vatican Allows Women to Vote; India Debates Same-Sex Marriage; Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Criticizes Hungary’s Anti-LGBTQ+ Stance

The U.S. ranks as the 19th most dangerous country for women, 11th in maternal mortality, 30th in closing the gender pay gap, 75th in women’s political representation, and painfully lacks paid family leave and equal access to health care. But Ms. has always understood: Feminist movements around the world hold answers to some of the U.S.’s most intractable problems. Ms. Global is taking note of feminists worldwide.

This time with news from Iran, Colombia, the Vatican, India, Zimbabwe, Luxembourg, and more.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Brittney Griner’s Detention Matters for All Women; Is Serena Williams Retiring on Her Own Terms?

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation in politics, on boards, in sports and entertainment, in judicial offices and in the private sector in the U.S. and around the world—with a little gardening and goodwill mixed in for refreshment!

This week: Is Serena Williams retiring on her own terms?; progress for women in Kenyan politics; India falls behind for parity; Brittney Griner’s detention is a travesty; women of color are well-positioned to take power after the Minnesota primaries; New York Times endorses three white men; and more.

New Biden Executive Order Marks a Historic Change in the Handling of Military Sexual Assault

President Biden signed an executive order implementing sweeping changes to the way the military justice system handles sexual assault cases. The reform “transfers key decision-making authorities from commanders to specialized, independent military prosecutors in cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, murder, and other serious offenses.” The initiative, which consistently wins bipartisan support, is “the most significant transformation of the military justice system since … 1950,” according to the White House.

The reform effort has been led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and other survivors, advocates and members of Congress. “While it will take time to see the results of these changes,” said Gillibrand, “these measures will instill more trust, professionalism and confidence in the system.”