The Taliban’s Weaponization of Education

The Taliban has been establishing religious schools all over Afghanistan. This cannot be a substitute for women’s education, nor a reason for the Taliban to gain international acceptance. These religious schools de-prioritize traditional subjects. By focusing on an education that closes off the outside world, Afghan students are being excluded from public life. This is unacceptable.

Compromising modern education means compromising the future of Afghanistan and the global community.

An Open Letter to Women’s Magazine Editors: It’s Time to Save Reproductive Rights

Right-wing politicians like Ron DeSantis are ranting about the “woke” media, yet most women’s sites today stick to “traditional” female topics: beauty, shopping, fashion, shopping, relationship issues and more shopping.

Perusing the happy headlines featured on women’s media sites, their readers would have no idea that abortion bans have demolished the rights of women in 21 states, nor that the maternal mortality rate has spiked in those states. Are women’s digital media site editors living in a Barbieland bubble?

In Afghanistan, Women Are Dying on the Way to the Hospital or Inside It

In the Taliban’s Afghanistan, it’s not uncommon for three women to share a hospital bed. Nor is it rare for premature babies to share incubators. Families often cannot afford a trip to the doctor to get help for women or children, and more women are dying on their way to the hospital from pregnancy complications because they need to travel hours or even days to get care.

“It’s a perfect storm: less access to healthcare, less access to reproductive choice, and a declining number of healthcare professionals,” Heather Barr of Human Rights Watch said.

U.N. Commitment to Ending Gender Apartheid Should Not Overlook Taliban Violations

Since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, Afghan people—especially women and girls—have lived under harsh edicts and orders. Yet a U.N. assessment released last month does not mention the Taliban by name once. Although it describes the issue of women’s rights critically, it does not make any recommendations concerning women’s rights—except to say the current system violates the U.N. Convention to Eliminate Sex Discrimination. Incredibly vague phrasing sums up the overall message of the report. 

The United Nations’ commitment to ending gender apartheid must not waver.

Access to Asylum Can’t be Treated as a Bargaining Chip in the Foreign Aid Debate

The Senate is feverishly debating the president’s $106 billion supplemental budget, which includes requests for additional aid to Ukraine and Israel, measures to counter China’s influence, significant humanitarian assistance funds, and border security. 

Republican negotiators have chosen to use the urgency of the foreign aid requests to squeeze concessions from the administration and Democratic senators around the asylum process itself.

Combating Terrorism and Misogyny Together

In the grim landscape of global conflict, one element stands starkly at its core: the systematic oppression and subjugation of women. The narrative of international security and foreign policy ignores gender, overlooking the crucial role women play in the fabric of societal stability.

The war that begins with women’s bodies does not end there. To effectively counter the scourge of terrorism, we must reject the false dichotomy between human rights and national security. Instead, we must recognize that the protection and empowerment of women are not just moral imperatives but strategic necessities. 

Winter 2024 Sneak Peek: Inside a Violent Clinic Invasion

“On Oct. 22, 2020, a group of anti-abortion extremists forced their way into the Washington Surgi-Clinic, a facility that provides abortion care in Washington, D.C.” So begins investigative reporter Amanda Robb’s alarming account of a violent attack on an abortion clinic in the nation’s capital.

Here’s some of what else you’ll find within the pages of the upcoming Winter 2024 issue of Ms. magazine: how online abuse is used to intimidate, discredit and silence people; women activists in Afghanistan and Iran are calling on the international community to stop gender apartheid; and the top 10 most disappointing TV series cancellations of 2023.

Courage in Journalism Awards: Honoring Women Reporters Amid War, Censorship and Authoritarian Rule

The Courage in Journalism Awards show people that women journalists are not going to step aside, cannot be silenced, and deserve to be recognized for their strength in the face of adversity.

Meet the recipients of the 2023 Courage in Journalism awards.

(This essay is part of the “Feminist Journalism is Essential to Democracy” project—Ms. magazine’s latest installment of Women & Democracy, presented in partnership with the International Women’s Media Foundation.)