Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Colorado Elects Majority-Women Legislature; Karen Bass, LA’s First Woman Mayor

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

This week: 2022 midterms will be a status quo election for women in Congress; federal candidates and political committees are projected to spend $8.9 billion this election cycle; Ruwa Romman, 29, makes history as the first Muslim woman elected to the Georgia House; Los Angeles, the second largest city in the U.S., has elected Representative Karen Bass to be its first-ever woman mayor; and more.

Abortion and Equal Rights Are Driving Young Women Voters—and High Turnout Is Expected

Among young women voters ages 18-29 in the battleground states, abortion and women’s rights are the most important and highly motivating issues in determining their vote—22 points higher than inflation. And youth voter turnout is expected to match or exceed the record set in 2018.

“The overturning of Roe v. Wade has lit a fire under women voters, and especially young women voters, who have the power to determine close elections,” said Katherine Spillar, executive editor of Ms.

A Century-Long Effort to Secure the ERA: ‘The Important Thing Is To Keep Fighting’

2023 will mark 100 years since the introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment to Congress. Of this milestone, Gloria Steinem remarked “I never thought we would still be fighting this battle after all these years.”
Steinem, along with Carol Jenkins, president emerita of the ERA Coalition, and Mona Sinha, board chair of the ERA Fund for Women’s Equality, formed a panel at Smith College on Sept. 16. Joined by moderator Becca Damante, legislative assistant to Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), the four discussed the merits of the ERA and its relationship with democracy.

The Power of Young Black Women’s Votes

Panelists discussed youth voter turnout and the importance its impact on the fight for equal rights at the Getting out the Vote for Equality Roundtable hosted by the ERA Coalition and the Howard University Political Science Department on Sept. 20, National Voter Registration Day.

“Our vote is really the only way we’ve seen our voice be taken seriously. I personally am tired of seeing Black women get robbed of their justice,” said Nandi Perry of Gen Z for Change.

Busting the Filibuster

If this summer has shown us anything, it is that from now on, women’s rights hang in a precarious electoral balance.

Critical House bills aimed at protecting women’s and reproductive rights are not even close to meeting the 60-vote threshold in the Senate, leaving many across the U.S. without adequate legal protections to access reproductive healthcare—and making filibuster reform that much more urgent. This also makes the midterm races crucial for Democrats, who need to pick up another two senators in support of filibuster reform.

Women’s Rights and Legal Advocates Continue Push for Recognition of Equal Rights Amendment

On Wednesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case of Illinois v. Ferriero—a lawsuit brought against the national archivist to compel him to publish the Equal Rights Amendment as the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit was brought by two of the three final states to ratify the ERA: Nevada and Illinois. Immediately following the oral arguments, ERA advocates held a press conference and a rally outside the court.

“We are hopeful that this will result in the certification of the ERA,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), co-sponsor of H.J. Res. 28, the Equal Rights Amendment. 

Ms. Fall Issue Delves Into Dobbs’ Impact on Midterm Elections

As election season kicks off in earnest and with the consequential midterms fast approaching, pundits are speculating: What effect will the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision have on the election’s outcomes? It’s clear that abortion is on the ballot—but how will it sway turnout and decisions in an election that traditionally sees lower numbers of voters? 

In the Fall issue of Ms., we’re tackling these questions, and much more. Join us as we delve deep into the current state of abortion access nationwide and the security of our very democracy.

Women’s Equality Is *Still* Not Guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution

Despite achieving all of the requirements to become an amendment to the Constitution, recognition of the Equal Rights Amendment was blocked by the Trump administration.

In January of this year, the Office of Legal Counsel issued a new opinion stating that Congress may take action regarding ratification of the ERA—but Republicans have used the filibuster to block the measure in the Senate. To make the ERA a reality, Democrats need to keep the House and win 52 Senate seats in the fall elections, so they can remove the filibuster and pass the ERA resolution.