The Abolitionist Aesthetics of Patrisse Cullors, Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter

“Imagine if culturally we understood that protecting Black women meant protecting all of us,” said Patrisse Cullors, renowned for her activist work with Black Lives Matter, a global network she co-founded in 2013 with Alicia Garza and Ayo Tometi. “I think that’s what this show means to me.”

The show referenced here, “dedicated to all Black women and femmes around the world,” is the exhibit Between the Warp and Weft: Weaving Shields of Strength and Spirituality—an introduction to Cullors as an artist wielding her protection spell over Black women. The exhibit opens Saturday, June 15, at the Charlie James Gallery in downtown Los Angeles.

What Do the European Parliament Elections Mean for Gender Equality in Europe and Beyond?

This month, citizens across Europe headed to the polls to vote for their representatives to European Parliament. Representatives are directly elected by voters in E.U. member states every five years, and European Parliament is responsible for passing a wide array of laws, including human rights and equality measures.

Far-right parties made significant gains, even going so far as to elect representative from neo-fascist parities. This will mean substantial setbacks in gender equality. In the past, far-right parties have cut funding for tackling gender-based violence, restricted access to reproductive healthcare and abortion, and suppressed speech around gender equality issues and LGBTQ+ rights.

Who Is to Blame for the Death of Habiba el Shamaa?

On April 15, 2024, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced an Uber driver to 15 years in prison with hard labor for attempted kidnapping, driving under the influence of drugs and document forgery. The victim, 24-year-old Habiba el Shamaa, died on March 14 after 21 days in a coma following critical injuries she sustained when jumping out of the moving vehicle.

Uber is partly to blame for the death of el Shamaa, but the larger misogynistic context that has normalized violence against women in the region should not be ignored. At the core of this violence in Egypt and throughout the region is the common belief that the home is a woman’s only legitimate space.

Women are Front and Center in Mexican Politics. What Can the U.S. Learn?

On June 2, over 60 percent of registered Mexican voters went to the polls for a monumental election, with over 20,000 public offices up for grabs at the federal and local levels. This election was historic, as a woman was elected to hold the highest office in Mexico for the first time. This transition did not occur naturally; it resulted from consistent, permanent debate at all levels by activists, institutions, academics and women in politics who worked together across party lines to close the political gender gap. Although there is still a long way to go to achieve substantive gender parity in public life, Mexico’s progress can and should be a valuable lesson to the U.S.

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.

Ms. Global: Millions in Sudan Face Ethnic Cleansing, Mexico Elects First Woman President, and More

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 Sudan, Mexico, Kazakhstan, and more.

To Defend Democracy, We Must Protect Bodily Autonomy

It is no coincidence that at the same moment U.S. democracy is facing existential threats, we are also witnessing profound assaults not only on the body politic but on our bodily autonomy. 

One of the biggest threats to the consolidation of power is an empowered and engaged populace—particularly women, the LGBTQ community and people of color. Which is why anti-democratic leaders are doing all they can to limit and curtail the power of these communities. This moment requires progressive and pro-democracy funders to understand the attacks to reproductive freedom, LGBTQ liberation, and racial justice not as distinct or disparate—but as central to the attacks to our democracy itself, and to fund accordingly.

Backsliding Democracies and Women’s Rights in the U.S. and Around the Globe

Can a democracy where women have never been equal ever really thrive? How are attacks on democracy tied to gender equity? What can we learn from past fights to protect and expand women’s rights in order to chart a path forward?

A two-part virtual discussion hosted by Ms. magazine in partnership with NYU Law’s Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Center and the 92Y explored these questions, plus how women’s rights are inextricably tied to the integrity and durability of democratic institutions—featuring Melissa Murray, Alexis McGill-Johnson, Ruth Ben-Ghiat and more.