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.

A Violent Denial: Combating Silence Around Hamas’ Sexual Violence and Preventing Future War Crimes

Feminist lessons of war are traumatically and often fatally difficult to come by. In her 2023 book, Twelve Feminist Lessons of War, Cynthia Enloe offers a list that includes: “Women’s wars are not men’s wars,” “wounds are gendered” and “feminists organize while war is raging.” She declares that “feminist lessons are for everyone.”

Cochav Elkayam-Levy is still figuring out the feminist lessons to be learned from the Oct. 7 attack. As she has come to accept, this will be her life’s work.

(This article originally appears in the Summer 2024 issue of Ms. Join the Ms. community today and you’ll get issues delivered straight to your mailbox!)

Ms. Global: Historic Kenyan Elections; Malaysia Passes Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill; Germany Introduces Self-Determination Act

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 India, Germany, Malaysia, Iran, and more.

Local Implementation of CEDAW Is at an Inflection Point

Since 1998, dozens of local governments across the U.S. have passed measures implementing the U.N. Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)—most recently, Los Angeles County. the most populous local jurisdiction in the country.

CEDAW has been ratified by every country in the world, except for six: Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Palau, Tonga and the U.S. Although President Carter signed CEDAW in 1980, the Senate has never approved the treaty by a two-thirds vote, as the Constitution. In response to the U.S.’s failure to ratify the treaty, grassroots advocates have focused on passing local measures that embody the key principles of CEDAW.