The Next Battlefront in the War Against Women: Fighting for Congress to Fully Fund WIC

Leaders in Congress agreed on a topline figure to fund the government for the next fiscal year. But it is certainly no cause for celebration. The long-overdue agreement will continue most of last year’s levels, while providing enormous boosts for the Pentagon. With rising costs, last year’s funding levels are not enough for federal safety net programs to meet the needs of struggling Americans. Simply put, more people need more help and they will not get it. This is particularly true among single mothers—40 percent of whom needlessly struggle with food insecurity.

It’s all part of Republicans’ plan to both restrict abortion access and cut nutrition assistance from low-income mothers, infants and young children—creating a new wave of the feminization of poverty.

2023 ‘Best of the Rest’: Our Favorite Books of the Year!

Each month, we provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups. And each year, we review our monthly Reads for the Rest of Us lists and choose our favorite books of the entire year. 

You’ve read the other “Best of” lists—now read the other one. You know, for the rest of us. So here they are, our book critic’s top 38, in alphabetical order. 

Indigenous Leader Deb Haaland Is Creating a ‘Road to Healing’ for Survivors of Indian Boarding Schools

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has traveled across the country on a “Road to Healing” tour to hear the stories of Indigenous survivors of the federal Indian boarding school system and connect communities with trauma-informed support.

“I know that this process will be long and difficult,” said Haaland. “I know that this process will be painful. It won’t undo the heartbreak and loss we feel. But only by acknowledging the past can we work toward a future that we’re all proud to embrace.”  

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Michigan Leads the Way to Gender-Balanced Democracy; Wins for Native Women

It’s almost the weekend, which means it’s time for our Weekend Reading series—so pour yourself a glass of wine, curl up under that blanket, and catch up on the latest in women’s representation in the U.S. and abroad.

This week: Michigan’s state legislature is roughly 40 percent women, and ranked-choice voting passed in three cities; how women’s equality and leadership thrived among many Native American nations; America Ferrera keeps it real with the BBC; and more.

Lillian Vernon’s Legacy of ‘Kitchen Table’ Entrepreneurs Celebrated at Smithsonian

More than half a century before the COVID-19 pandemic normalized working from home, Lillian Vernon (1927-2015) launched what would eventually become a multi-million-dollar catalog business from the kitchen table of her modest home in Mount Vernon, N.Y. Her accomplishments as a pathbreaking entrepreneur were recently recognized with the installation of an exhibit: “Lillian Vernon, Kitchen Table Millionaire,” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Solutions to the Pay Gap for Native American Women Could Be Found in Their Tribes

November 30 marks Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day, spotlighting that those working full- or part-time are still earning only 55 cents for every $1 paid to non-Latino white men. Only Latinas have a wider gap. But 55 cents is, in many ways, an incomplete figure. 

There is much that is unknown about the nuances of the pay gap for Native American women. For years, the United States has failed to invest in data collection on Indigenous communities, making it difficult to reliably track wage gaps among the 574 federally recognized tribes.

Resisting Climate Patriarchy

Construction is complete on the Enbridge corporation’s Line 3 pipeline, which was dug under the Mississippi River to carry expensive, dirty tar sand oil from Alberta, Canada, to be refined in Wisconsin. In Aitkin County, Minn., the trial of Mylene Vialard (aka Ocean) reveals a pipeline of injustice—the structural violence of white settler-colonial capitalist patriarchy. Vialard’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 20.

November 2023 Reads for the Rest of Us

Each month, we provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups.

This November brings a brilliant selection of new book releases. From Native American Heritage Month to Trans Day of Remembrance, there are books for you to learn from, unwind with, and reflect upon. Which of these 24 titles will you be reading this month?  

Indigenous Peoples Day: Celebrating Heritage, Confronting History

This Indigenous Peoples Day, as we honor the rich tapestry of Native culture and celebrate the diversity and enduring spirit of Native communities, let us also acknowledge the legacy of Native American boarding schools and remember the Native children who were taken from us far too soon.

At least 523 institutions were part of the Native American boarding school system—408 of which received federal funding. These schools were in at least 35 states, yet most Americans know nothing about this history.

The Violence Against Women Act Turns 29. There’s More Work to Do.

Twenty-nine years ago, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), finally putting the full force of our federal government into efforts to stop domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking to help survivors. VAWA was transformative. In the years after it was enacted, domestic violence against adult women in the United States declined by more than 60 percent.

The pandemic set us back, and there’s much more work to do. We will keep working to improve VAWA, and to support the Biden administration’s National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence: Strategies for Action, a truly groundbreaking whole-of-government approach to addressing and preventing violence of all kinds.