Think Build Back Better Is Expensive? Wait Till You Hear the U.S. Defense Budget.

The main objection to President Biden’s Build Back Better plan by Republicans and so-called “moderate” Democrats is the price tag—$3.5 trillion over 10 years. If that sounds like a lot of money, it is—until you compare it to the boys and their toys.

We don’t need a rocket scientist to tell us why women’s jobs aren’t recovering: a lack of childcare and universal pre-kindergarten, a lack of paid family leave. The Build Back Better Act would go a long way toward fixing that.

The Impact of Angela Merkel—What 16 Years of Women’s Leadership Can Get You

How did Germany manage to elect Angela Merkel, a woman leader who achieved unity, stability and economic growth through some of the most turbulent years in history? Through political structures with inherently less barriers for women—namely, a mixed-member proportional representation electoral system and gender quotas. By and large, U.S. politics uses neither of these. But change is possible.

Keeping Score: California Schools to Provide Free Period Products; Title X Gag Rule Reversed; Texas Abortion Ban Reinstated

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 administration reverses Title X gag rule; federal courts halt, then reinstate Texas’s six-week abortion ban; school districts crack down on BLM and pride flags; Playboy features first gay man on its cover; California overrides workplace NDAs *and* requires free menstrual products in schools; and more.

Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk: How to Strengthen U.S. Foreign Policy Commitments for Girls

The risks of being an adolescent girl are perhaps worse this year than any year since we began celebrating International Day of the Girl. The voices of girls are rarely centered, their solutions are rarely considered, and their needs are rarely addressed.

But an executive order from Biden could develop a whole-of-government strategy for children and youth. Empowering girls as leaders benefits us all and should be a priority.

Elizabeth Warren “Pinkie Promises” to Keep Fighting for Feminism

Sen. Elizabeth Warren talks her new children’s book, the importance of connecting with youth and the future of feminism.

“The pinkie promises I’ve made with thousands of girls will stay with me always,” Warren said. “Those promises are a reminder of our strength, and I hope this book will encourage even the youngest readers to dream big—because that’s what girls do.”

Taliban Announces Additional Government Officials—All Male, and All Members of Their Old Guard

Early this week, the Taliban announced additional members of their Cabinet, and once again, all of them are part of the old guard of the Taliban, despite promises of an inclusive government during peace talks. The 38 new members of the interim government of the Taliban were appointed to military and civilian positions. The leadership team still doesn’t include a single woman.

Ms. Global: Arab World Gets Its First Female Head of State; Historic Trans Representation in Germany; Islamophobia in the U.K.

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.