The Ms. Top Feminists of 2021

From COVID vaccines to abortion rights, infrastructure bills to Olympic athletes, 2021 has been a monunmental year for feminists around the globe. With so many of our rights in jeopardy, and with so many women struggling to recover from the pandemic, activists have had to work even harder to stand up for the causes we believe in.

Tackling voting rights, public health, reproductive justice and much more, here are our top feminists of 2021.

Ten Steps Closer to Parity: Wins for Women in 2021

While the United States has a long way to go to achieve intersectional, gender-balanced governance, progress was still made in 2021. From historic appointments to record-breaking elections, women reached new milestones at every level of government this year.

So as difficult as it may be to find cause to celebrate in challenging times, here are 10 reasons to have hope for a more gender-inclusive future. 

The Government Has a Long History of Controlling Women—One That Never Ended

Abortion is not (just) a health issue. Whether we are willing to let women and people capable of becoming pregnant control their own bodies, for health or any other reason, is an equity issue—a question of who deserves bodily autonomy and freedom to reach their full potential.

Ultimately, abortion bans and restrictions are part of broader legal and societal structures that were unambiguously designed to not recognize women’s inherent equality.

As AAPI Heritage Month Ends, We Must Recommit Ourselves to the Fight Against Racism and Anti-Asian Hate

Asian women have been overlooked, dehumanized and ignored by American society. When we are seen, we are often stereotyped as the “China Doll” or the “Dragon Lady.” We have been reduced to our perceived race and stripped of our individual humanity and identity.

If this can happen to two Asian leaders in the White House, then what is happening elsewhere across our country to Asian women with fewer resources?

The Change Women Need: Systemic Reforms Power the Path to Equality

Sixty-six countries have outpaced the United States in women’s representation—not because their women are more qualified or ambitious, but because they have implemented electoral systems and policies to ensure more level playing fields and greater opportunity in the electoral process.

If the U.S. wants to accelerate greater gender representation and demonstrate it truly values women’s political leadership, we need changes to our political and electoral systems.