Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Women and the Iowa Caucus; Southern Legislatures Still Dominated by Men

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

This week: Republican women are vastly underrepresented in comparison to their Democratic counterparts; nearly half of U.S. states have implemented abortion bans or restrictions; the struggles Indonesian women face when they aspire to have political careers; Mar Galcerán becomes the first woman with Down syndrome to be elected to Spain’s parliamentsand more.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Sexual Harassment Is Pervasive in State Politics; Remembering Sandra Day O’Connor

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

This week: Although Latinas represent 20 percent of California’s population, their representation in elected office lags far behind that; sexual harassment by sitting state lawmakers over the last decade is pervasive and ongoing; the urgent need for creating space for disabled leaders within the political sphere; former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; and more.

The Last Salem Witch Has Been Exonerated

More than 300 years after the Salem witch trials, a class of middle schoolers helped exonerate the sole remaining woman legally classified as a witch.

Originally expected to be a simple class project, the path to clearing Elizabeth Johnson Jr.’s name took three years and the help of a Massachusetts state senator, Diana DiZoglio (D). Unwed women were viewed with suspicion at the time of the trials, and many individuals convicted were later exonerated by their own descendants. With no descendants to clear her name, Johnson’s wrongful conviction remained in place—making her the last remaining witch in Salem history—until Carrie LaPierre’s class came to her aid. 

Filmmakers Annika Hylmö and Dawn Green tell this story in their upcoming documentary, The Last Witch.

Single Moms Need Financial Support: ‘The Money We Receive Isn’t Enough to Cover Everything’

Front and Center is a groundbreaking series created in partnership with the Magnolia Mother’s Trust (MMT), which aims to put front and center the voices of Black women who are affected most by the often-abstract policies debated at the national level.

Catrina first shared her story with Ms. in 2022. Since she stopped receiving funds through the Magnolia Mother’s Trust program, she’s now on disability for ongoing health issues, but hopes to one day return to the job she loves caring for the elderly.

“The government thinks that the money we receive through disability is enough to cover everything, but it honestly isn’t. … I’m number one for believing that able-bodied people need to work. When I was a full able-bodied person, even though I had health issues, I still got up six to seven days a week and worked anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day. I worked my butt off. But right now, I’m not able to work.”

New College of Florida Eliminates Gender Studies Program, Leaving Students in the Crossfire

Professor Viki Peer was hired in the fall of 2022 to teach a course for the New College of Florida’s gender studies program. Instead, what unfolded before her and the student body was a complete conservative takedown of the institution by the Board of Trustees.

“The spirit of critical thinking, compassion and creative resistance is still alive at New College among the faculty, students and staff who remain.”

Texas’ Voter Suppression Law Is on Trial

Civil rights groups and voting organizations are in federal court challenging a Texas law that makes it harder to vote, especially for people of color and those with disabilities. Over the course of the trial, which goes until late October, counsel will show how Senate Bill 1 violates the Constitution, the Voting Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

While SB 1 is one of many anti-democracy laws enacted by 19 states in the year after the 2020 election, it stands out for its sheer number of restrictive and discriminatory provisions, which largely target Latino and Black voters. This is likely the only challenge to such an extensive restrictive voting law that will go to trial between now and the 2024 election. 

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Female Candidates Are Often Discussed Using Gendered Terms; Rest in Power, Anita Cornwell

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

This week: Female candidates are more likely to be described as “emotional” or “compassionate,” while male candidates are more likely to be described as “strong” or “confident”; Anita Cornwell, a revolutionary Black lesbian feminist writer, died at 99; progress toward gender balance in the U.S. is frustratingly slow and uneven; Delfina Gómez won her gubernatorial election in the state of Mexico to become the first woman to hold this position in the state; and more.

Three Reasons Congress Should Reject Medicaid Work Requirements

On April 26, the House passed Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s debt ceiling bill, the “Limit, Save and Grow Act.” If enacted, the bill would create new work reporting requirements, stripping Medicaid coverage from adults unable to document eighty hours of work or community service per month.

Work reporting requirements are unnecessary, harmful and ultimately counter to the goals of the Medicaid program. Here’s why.

Recognizing Our Essential Workers: The Women of the Long-Term Care Industry

Long-term care workers like myself—an industry that is almost entirely women of color—are some of the most disrespected, unprotected and underpaid workers in the country.

On Tuesday, President Biden signed an executive order to improve care and support care workers—the most comprehensive action yet to address this industry in crisis. This is a great first step, and I hope for the sake of my community and our loved ones that this starts to pave the way for necessary change. We will take this win and use it to motivate our continued fight.