Nobel Prize Winner Leymah Gbowee Fights for the “Unknown Women” Leading Nonviolent Protests in the Face of Civil War

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Leymah Gbowee talks about her experiences with war and journey to being a peacemaker.

“I did what I had to do, at a time that was necessary. I wasn’t looking for any accolades. I would do it again, even if there wasn’t a Nobel Peace Prize. … That prize, that has my name on it, says we recognize the role of grassroots, rural, community women as nurturers and sustainers of their society.”

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.

As a Woman Researcher, I Experienced the Harassment and Silencing of the Women Soldiers I Interviewed

Women peacekeepers are being asked to increase the security for women civilians in conflict zones—yet women peacekeepers are being sexually harassed and assaulted by men in their own militaries. How can the U.N. Security Council stand by its call to troop contributing countries to increase the numbers of women peacekeepers they are deploying, when they can’t keep them safe?

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.

It’s Time to End Gender Stereotypes in Schools

On this International Day of the Girl, two feminists share how their childhood experiences with gender stereotypes have shaped their feminism, their work—and indeed, who they are.

“When I started school as a child, I was bombarded with rules that my body had to follow.”

“I was 8 years old when I was punished at school for refusing to do needlework with the rest of the girls in my class and wanting to do carpentry like the boys. I was awful at needlework. I was dying to swing a hammer.”

Texas Law Prohibiting Mailing Abortion Pills Won’t Stop Texans Seeking Pills Online

On the heels of Texas’s newly-enacted abortion ban—blocked by a federal court on Oct. 6, then reinstated on Oct. 8 by the Fifth Circuit Court—Governor Greg Abbott signed into law S.B. 4 making it a felony for doctors to mail abortion pills to a patient. The law applies only to doctors and explicitly exempts pregnant people from criminal penalties for ordering pills online.

But unless Texas is willing to post abortion police at every woman’s mailbox to check and intercept her mail, Texans will still have access to medication abortion online and through the mail.