Reps. Cori Bush and Ayanna Pressley Lead Fight for ERA—100 Years After Its Introduction

ERA advocates in the U.S. have waged a 100-year fight just to get gender equality enshrined in the Constitution.

“The women of this country are exhausted, so we are leveraging every tool available,” said Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), co-chair of the ERA Caucus.

“We won’t stop until the ERA is officially part of the Constitution,” said fellow co-chair Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.). “We owe it to our daughters, to the next generation, to those who fought before us.”

Lillian Vernon’s Legacy of ‘Kitchen Table’ Entrepreneurs Celebrated at Smithsonian

More than half a century before the COVID-19 pandemic normalized working from home, Lillian Vernon (1927-2015) launched what would eventually become a multi-million-dollar catalog business from the kitchen table of her modest home in Mount Vernon, N.Y. Her accomplishments as a pathbreaking entrepreneur were recently recognized with the installation of an exhibit: “Lillian Vernon, Kitchen Table Millionaire,” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Amplifying Women’s Congressional Power

Intentional efforts advanced by citizens, academics, party leaders and actors across sectors can amplify women’s power—and staying power—in the halls of Congress, supporting them in their belonging as effective representatives of previously underrepresented constituencies.

“In addition to all the tremendous work that is happening right now to help get women elected, we need to be doing more to support them after they get elected,” said Dr. Maya Kornberg, political scientist, research fellow in the Elections and Government Program at the Brennan Center for Justice and author of Inside Congressional Committees: Function and Dysfunction in the Legislative Process.

U.S. Rape Culture Is Sidelining and Silencing Future Female Leaders

The recent CDC report on the health of U.S. high school students was sharply contextualized by chief medical officer Dr. Deborah Houry’s headline-grabbing remark at the report’s release: “America’s teen girls are engulfed in a growing wave of sadness, violence and trauma.”

Rape culture is defined in part by its tolerance of subjection of women to a continuum of threats. Rape culture is also characterized by sexism, which involves normalized denigration and dismissal of women. Failure to address these conditions for young girls creates more hurdles on their paths to success and the possibility of public leadership—where the ranks of women leaders continue to be proportionally much smaller than they are for men.

Half a Century of Data on American Women and Politics

At the time of the Center for American Women and Politics’ founding, there were so few women in politics that some male colleagues wondered aloud what the organization would even study.

Five decades later, in a year marked by critical milestones and mixed outcomes for women’s rights and representation, the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics is celebrating its anniversary as the original and preeminent source for data, research and resources regarding women in American politics and public life. Ms. spoke recently with Debbie Walsh, CAWP’s director for the last two decades, about the significance of that half-century mark.

Rape Rhetoric and Russia’s War on Ukraine

As in the case of many an abusive ex-partner, Putin has threateningly hovered and glowered over Ukraine since the country declared itself independent in 1991.  

This playbook of bullying and domination is well known to those who study sexual and interpersonal violence, with parallels both implicit and explicit. For years, witnesses have stood on the sidelines while Putin raged and menaced.