Women in Kabul Protest for Food, Work and Equality: “Poverty Forced Us To Gather Here”

On Dec. 16, dozens of brave Afghan women in Kabul staged a rally against the spread of poverty calling for food, work, equality and full participation in all social, economic and political spheres. The women marched through Kabul holding banners that demanded women’s political participation and the release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets by the international community.

“Our children are dying from starvation. Our families are struggling to find bread for their children. International community: Please hear our voice—don’t abandon Afghanistan and its people,” said one protester.

In an Era of Unrealistic Expectations on Moms, Product Safety Is a Feminist Issue

In the midst of the holiday season, the pressure on parents to select the perfect gift for every member of their family can feel overwhelming. What’s harder is when companies have developed a tendency of blaming accidents of shocking children’s deaths on parents, even if their unsafe products are the real culprits.

This is a feminist issue. The more the government encourages industry self-monitoring and consumer educational campaigns over regulation and federal oversight, the more the management of risk is transferred to individual families, and the gendered labor of mothers in particular.

Build Back Better Is in Peril. Low-income Families Can’t Afford To Lose It

As families hope Democratic leadership will find a different path to pass Build Back Better policies like childcare or paid leave, another revolutionary policy is just beginning to enter mainstream awareness: guaranteed income.

Guaranteed income involves regular payments directed to specific marginalized groups, as a way to address economic inequities caused by systemic racism and sexism. Economic justice organizations like the Magnolia Mother’s Trust argue that a federal guaranteed income program would not just help low-income families pay their bills, but also reduce financial stress and set their families up for long-term success. 

Farmers Leading Protests in India—and the Young Feminists Camping With Them—Just Scored a Major Win. Will It Last?

As the world advocates for collective action toward the empowerment for all (including universal healthcare and tuition-free education), farmers and agrarian laborers from the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in India have finally pushed back with a massive movement. And after a year of unprecedented protests, an equally unprecedented victory has been won. To some readers, just to exist without immediate corporate control over agriculture may seem small—but these farmers are poised to change the whole game.

And undoubtedly, while the protest was majority male, the centrality of women’s contribution has been unquestionable.

One Victory in Building Equity for Black U.S. Families—Millions More to Go

For Black people to build wealth, white people need to be comfortable redistributing some of theirs. A success story out of Eugene, Ore., shows how homeownership can begin to remedy income and wealth gaps for Black families.

But while it is amazing that the community came together to help Ms. Lyllye realize her dream of home ownership, there are millions of Black Americans just like her who deserve the same thing. To make that a reality, we need government policies such as increased mortgage options and subsidizing down payments for those impacted by historically discriminatory housing policies.

Keeping Score: Biden Signs Bill for Maternity Care, Reinstates “Remain in Mexico” Policy; More Evidence Supports COVID Vaccination During Pregnancy

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 in this biweekly round-up.

This week: Biden signs the first of 12 ‘Momnibus’ bills for veteran maternity care, and reimplements Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy; Stacey Abrams announced her second run for Georgia governor; Sweden’s first female prime minister resigns hours after appointment; CDC encourages vaccination of pregnant people; and more.

Black Women’s Unemployment Rate Just Dropped. What Happened?

The unemployment rate for Black women went from 7 percent in October to 5 percent in November. Typically, unemployment rates change very little from month to month, so the drop among Black women, who have consistently had some of the highest rates of any racial group, is significant. However, since the pandemic began, monthly jobs figures have been more volatile, and clear explanations of what is happening in the labor market have become even more rare.