Ukrainian Victims of Wartime Rape May Be Forced To Give Birth—All Thanks to This U.S. Policy

Because the Ukrainian health system is drastically strained, international humanitarian aid is playing an outsized role in delivering healthcare throughout the country. But all humanitarian aid provided by the U.S.—the largest single-country donor of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine—is subject to the Helms Amendment, which limits the use of U.S. foreign assistance funds for abortion. In this way, rather than alleviating their suffering, U.S. aid could be the reason that victims of wartime rape are denied abortions and forced to give birth.

Any lawmaker serious about their solidarity with Ukraine should commit to a full repeal of the Helms Amendment.

Breastfeeding in a War Zone

As Ukrainian families flee Russian brutality, women, children and especially infants are vulnerable to another scourge of war: disease and hunger. Health experts advocate breastfeeding over infant formula to keep babies healthy in the midst of bombardment and displacement. 

“It felt like my breasts were empty and daughter was always crying,” said Mariia Ismahulova, who was forced to flee underground with her family to escape missile strikes.

The Period Project: Period Poverty and the Fight for Menstrual Equity

Access to affordable menstrual products remains a persistent issue. That’s why we’re launching the Period Project—which uses original research to develop “Period Project Report Cards,” assigning each state and the District of Columbia a grade on an A–F scale to evaluate their progress toward menstrual equity.

(This article is the first in a three-part series introducing the Period Project, which examines the scope and consequences of period poverty and assesses state progress toward achieving menstrual equity through legislation.)

Meanwhile in Afghanistan, Women Are Suffering Needlessly This Winter

In Afghanistan, most secondary schools remain closed to girls, and women high school teachers who have not been paid for the last seven months have resorted to begging in the streets to feed their families.

The events in Afghanistan since August prove yet again that in times of crisis, the rights of women are demoted, devalued and expendable. They also show the propensity with which the U.N. and its member states sometimes accept as a fait accompli the cultural norms that place girls and women at risk of the worst physical harm; are denied access to their most basic human rights; and support their unquestioned subordination.

Congress Must Take This Critical Step to Protect Immigrant Survivors

For years, the U.S. has failed immigrant survivors by limiting their access to critical assistance programs. The LIFT the BAR Act is an opportunity for Congress to take real steps towards protecting immigrant survivors and getting them the resources they need.

The LIFT the BAR Act restores access to federal assistance programs like Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), by removing the five-year bar and other barriers that deny critical care and aid to people who are lawfully present.

Ms. Global: #WhereIsPengShuai?; Sweden May Get Its First Woman PM; Bolivia Debates Abortion Rights; The End of COP 26

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: Romania’s massive coronavirus outbreak; Afghan families forced to sell their daughters; the aftermath of COP 26; where is Peng Shuai?; Sweden may get its first woman PM; and more.