The U.S. Can’t Be a Global Leader on Democracy While Banning Abortion at Home

Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in a case that could set off a new era of abortion bans across much of the country. December also marked the start of President Biden’s Democracy Summit.

Yes, the U.S. faces an unprecedented crisis for the right to abortion. Before its next Democracy Summit, the Biden administration should make a real commitment to ending all anti-abortion policies that cause the U.S. to fall short of its democratic aspirations.

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. 

Women in Kabul Protest for Food, Work and Equality: “Poverty Forced Us To Gather Here”

On Dec. 16, dozens of brave Afghan women in Kabul staged a rally against the spread of poverty calling for food, work, equality and full participation in all social, economic and political spheres. The women marched through Kabul holding banners that demanded women’s political participation and the release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets by the international community.

“Our children are dying from starvation. Our families are struggling to find bread for their children. International community: Please hear our voice—don’t abandon Afghanistan and its people,” said one protester.

“Tracking the Backlash”: Feminist Investigative Journalists Uncover Organized Opposition to Reproductive Rights

openDemocracy’s “Tracking the Backlash” uncovers the organized opposition to sexual and reproductive rights including from religious right, far-right and other ‘anti-gender’ movements—in lockstep with the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.

“Our 15 feminist investigative journalists produce ambitious, cross-border journalism and impactful storytelling that challenge sexism, homophobia and racism worldwide—and in the media,” said Tatev Hovhannisyan, editor Europe and Eurasia on openDemocracy’s “Tracking the Backlash” project.

How Digital Media is Threatening Women’s Rights and Democracy

As feminist activists take advantage of the U.N. Women 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence globally and as the U.S. Department of State Summit for Democracy launches in the United States, we must recognize that women who challenge the status quo and speak out against injustice and inequality are facing an increasing amount of online abuse.

Gendered disinformation and online abuse against women in politics are not only a problem for the women who are targeted, but undermine women’s rights and democracy at large. 

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.