Women Workers Can Help Rebuild the U.S. Economy—If We Can Solve Their Care Challenges

The United States has significantly fewer supports for caregivers than our peer countries. We lack paid family leave and public childcare. Our long-term care infrastructure is a mix of private and public, means-tested programs. Persistent low wages across the care industries have ensured that supply is unstable and insufficient.

If the U.S. is serious about bringing women into the workforce permanently, we need a robust suite of care policies—including fully public childcare, reentry programs for women who have taken time out of the workforce for childcare, and more robust long-term care options.

Far-Right Fifth Circuit Judges Appear Determined to Remove Access to Abortion Pill Mifepristone

The Texas case on the abortion pill mifepristone was back in court for oral arguments before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Wednesday. The three Republican-appointed judges aggressively questioned and interrupted the attorneys defending access to mifepristone, and asked a wide range of questions indicating basic misunderstandings about abortion medications, the role of the FDA and administrative law.

“They’re going to ask terrible questions and write an awful opinion. But it will have no effect. None whatsoever. Because what the Supreme Court does in this case is what matters. So do yourself a favor and just ignore the Fifth Circuit. They’ve earned it.”

The Patriarchs’ War on Women

Assaults on women’s and LGBTQ+ rights—and attempts to put women “in their place”—constitute a backlash against feminist progress expanding women’s full inclusion in public life.

As women’s participation becomes more prominent in domestic and international politics, here’s why political sexism and gender policing are also becoming more virulent—and what to do about it.

(This essay is part of Women’s Rights and Backsliding Democracies project—a multimedia project made up of essays, video and podcast programming, presented by Ms., NYU Law’s Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network and Rewire News Group.)

Are Women’s Rights the Canary in the Coal Mine of a Democracy in Decline?

The tenets of reproductive health, rights and justice—and those of a healthy democracy—are not only inextricably interconnected, but essential to our nation’s promise.

(This essay is part of Women’s Rights and Backsliding Democracies project—a multimedia project made up of essays, video and podcast programming, presented by Ms., NYU Law’s Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network and Rewire News Group.)

Ukraine’s Frontline Mothers

More and more women have joined the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) since the country’s large-scale mobilization rapidly rolled out this past year, switching up the traditional wartime narrative that portrays women, and mothers with children especially, as victims of war instead of as agents of change.

(This article originally appears in the Spring 2023 issue of Ms. Join the Ms. community today and you’ll get the issue delivered straight to your mailbox!)

Over-the-Counter Birth Control Is Within Reach

A panel of advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unanimously voted on Wednesday to recommend the FDA approve the first over-the-counter birth control pill in the United States: Opill, a progestin-only birth control pill. The advisory panel decided the pros of making the pill available over the counter—including a significant increase in birth control access, especially for young women—outweigh any of the cons. Once approved, Opill would be available without an age restriction.

The Proud Boys Have Only Just Begun to Fight

Guilty verdicts for seditious conspiracy were handed down to key members of the Proud Boys on May 4 for actions related to the Capitol insurrection—marking a significant milestone in the 21st-century struggle in democratic societies against far-right extremism and political violence.

But the group is still mobilizing at a rapid pace across the country. And they’ve adjusted their strategy, turning toward anti-LGBTQ activism and expanding the group’s mission beyond Trumpian “stop the steal” efforts to focus its violent tactics on policing the borders of traditional masculinity. So what can be done about the disturbing emergence of the Proud Boys as a reactionary force determined to block social progress?

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Women CEOs Finally Outnumber CEOs Named John; Washington State Could Get a Woman Governor

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

This week: For the first time, the four agencies most responsible for ensuring Americans have access to affordable housing are all led by women; there are finally more women CEOs than CEOs named John; the South Carolina Democratic Party convention elected Christale Spain, the first Black woman to lead the organization; and more.

Why Banking for the Public Good Is No Pipe Dream

A trio of bank runs at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Signature and Silvergate Bank probably has you sitting up and paying attention, possibly biting your nails. Is this the beginning of another financial unraveling? How could a tech bank as important and big as SVB go broke? Wall Street goes by rules different from those applied to you and me.