What Do the European Parliament Elections Mean for Gender Equality in Europe and Beyond?

This month, citizens across Europe headed to the polls to vote for their representatives to European Parliament. Representatives are directly elected by voters in E.U. member states every five years, and European Parliament is responsible for passing a wide array of laws, including human rights and equality measures.

Far-right parties made significant gains, even going so far as to elect representative from neo-fascist parities. This will mean substantial setbacks in gender equality. In the past, far-right parties have cut funding for tackling gender-based violence, restricted access to reproductive healthcare and abortion, and suppressed speech around gender equality issues and LGBTQ+ rights.

Who Is to Blame for the Death of Habiba el Shamaa?

On April 15, 2024, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced an Uber driver to 15 years in prison with hard labor for attempted kidnapping, driving under the influence of drugs and document forgery. The victim, 24-year-old Habiba el Shamaa, died on March 14 after 21 days in a coma following critical injuries she sustained when jumping out of the moving vehicle.

Uber is partly to blame for the death of el Shamaa, but the larger misogynistic context that has normalized violence against women in the region should not be ignored. At the core of this violence in Egypt and throughout the region is the common belief that the home is a woman’s only legitimate space.

Women are Front and Center in Mexican Politics. What Can the U.S. Learn?

On June 2, over 60 percent of registered Mexican voters went to the polls for a monumental election, with over 20,000 public offices up for grabs at the federal and local levels. This election was historic, as a woman was elected to hold the highest office in Mexico for the first time. This transition did not occur naturally; it resulted from consistent, permanent debate at all levels by activists, institutions, academics and women in politics who worked together across party lines to close the political gender gap. Although there is still a long way to go to achieve substantive gender parity in public life, Mexico’s progress can and should be a valuable lesson to the U.S.

From Green to Red Tide: Latin America Is Leading the Way in the Fight Against Obstetric Violence

In the early 2000s, Latin American feminists coined the term “obstetric violence” (OV) to refer to acts of abuse in the context of pregnancy, labor and birth, including physical and psychological violence, abusive medicalization and pathologization of natural processes that involve the loss of autonomy over our bodies and sexuality. 

Since then, governments of Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Costa Rica have all passed legislation using the language of OV, laying out the rights of people at the time of labor and delivery.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Court Halts Fearless Fund’s Grants to Black Women; Mexico’s First and Iceland’s Next Women Presidents

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: Discover why the Fearless Fund has been halted by the courts and its implications for DEI programs. Explore the ongoing challenges in achieving global gender balance despite historic gains. Join us in celebrating the victories of Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico’s first woman president, and Halla Tomasdottir, Iceland’s next president. Additionally, dive into our Summer Reading series, where we spotlight the incredible books our team at RepresentWomen is delving into this summer.

Biden’s Border Closure Is a Gamble That Won’t Pay Off

At 12 a.m. on June 5, 2024, the southwest border closed to thousands of people desperate to reach the United States. By taking matters into his own hands, President Biden is following the oft-heard mantra of the last decade: Executive action is the last resort when Congress doesn’t take its responsibilities seriously. However, to justify the border suspension, the president had to determine that something about people who didn’t have permission to enter the U.S., as a category of individuals, meant that their admission—even temporarily—would threaten the best interests of this country. 

Until we all stand up for genuine immigration reform that tackles the tough questions of managing migration flows, ensuring sufficient legal immigration pathways, honoring our protection obligations and valuing immigration as a public good, politicians of both parties will take the easy way out; the odds are good that nobody wins.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Celebrating a Win for Mexico Women, Mourning a Loss for Texas Ones

The start of this week marked a feminist milestone for our southern neighbors: the election of the first-ever woman president in Mexico—a culmination of decades of political interventions like gender quotas and parity mandates aimed expressly at elevating more women to higher office. 

Just days before, in Texas—home to 10 percent of U.S. women of reproductive age—the state Supreme Court issued a huge loss to women, in the form of a callous ruling that forces pregnancy on women until (and even past) the brink of death and mandates them to continue pregnancies even when their fetus has no chance of survival after birth. To wish such suffering on pregnant Texans and their children goes beyond heartless indifference. It is violent and inhumane.

Felicidades a mis hermanas en México. And buena suerte—good luck—to my sisters in Texas. You are not alone.

Ms. Global: Millions in Sudan Face Ethnic Cleansing, Mexico Elects First Woman President, and More

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 week: news from Sudan, Mexico, Kazakhstan, and more.

Why Women Will Be Hardest Hit by President Biden’s Executive Order

President Biden signed an executive order on Tuesday that will temporarily close the United States border to all border crossers—including asylum seekers—if the number of border crossings reaches a certain threshold.

Many people are likely to suffer as a result of Biden’s action—especially women from Mexico and Central America desperate for safety because of gender-based violence in their home countries. 

Mexico’s Next President Is the Country’s First Woman, First Jewish President—And a Feminist

Mexico just elected its first woman and first Jewish president: former Mexico City Governor Claudia Sheinbaum.

She bested her opponent, Xóchitl Gálvez, winning between 58.3 percent and 60.7 percent of the vote, according to the National Electoral Institute. Gálvez had between 26.6 percent and 28.6 percent.

Thanks to three decades of political innovation in Mexico, Sheinbaum, Gálvez and hundreds of other women received the chance to run for and serve in office.