A Devastating Supreme Court Decision on Sexual Assault Shows Why the U.S. Needs the ERA Now

When she was a college freshman in 1994, Christy Brzonkala was gang-raped by two students at Virginia Tech. Brzonkala turned to a law newly passed called the Violence Against Women Act—and her case made it to the Supreme Court, where women’s right to equal protection from violence ultimately died.

When passed, the Equal Rights Amendment would spark Congress to enact new laws on gender violence, including redrafting the Violence Against Women Act civil rights remedy, and chart a path to overturn Brzonkala’s devastating decision.

Femicide: The Need To Name Gender-Based Killing of Women in the United States

The U.S. downplays the growing issue of gender-based killings and violence by failing to call it what it is: femicide.

Recent high-profile murders have received immense media coverage, but the reality is they aren’t rare events. Femicide is a global issue that disproportionately impacts BIPOC women and requires urgent action to prevent. The U.S. needs to adopt a language of femicide that recognizes the gendered nature of ongoing murders of women in the nation, as well as the larger social patterns connecting them.

“Respect Us, or Expect Us”: Indigenous Women Continue to Fight Against Pipeline 3

On October 1, Pipeline 3 became operational in Minnesota, despite resistance efforts led by Indigenous women and two-spirit individuals, who are seeking to hold President Biden accountable for promises made and broken.

The construction of the pipeline endangers local women and girls and infringes upon the rights of the rice, the land, the water, the nonhuman beings and the people. 

Federal Policy Has Failed To Protect Indigenous Women

On Indian reservations, Indigenous victims of physical violence by acquaintances or strangers, and all victims of sexual assault and stalking, have little recourse other than to rely on a federal criminal justice system that has consistently failed to prosecute their attackers.

One way to remedy this longstanding problem is for the reauthorization of VAWA to expand tribal jurisdiction to cover all crimes of violence against women committed on Indian reservations, irrespective of the race or the relationship of the victim and perpetrator.

Now Should We Speak Femicide?

Men sometimes kill women because they are women. Sometimes, as is likely the case with the horrific killings in Atlanta, men kill women because they are women and because of other aspects of their identity—race, sexual orientation, disabilities. But still, because they’re women. This gendered killing of women has a name: femicide, coined by Diana Russell almost 30 years ago.