Why Are Women Experts Still Excluded From Peace Talks Across the Globe?

The number of women and girls living in conflict-affected countries reached 614 million in 2022—50 percent higher than the number in 2017. To end war and bring lasting peace, women must be involved at the highest levels of peacemaking and peace-building processes, no matter the size or shakiness of the proverbial negotiating table. And regardless of how many men with or without guns dominate the proceedings.

“Men are making the decisions, but it’s the women that feel the impact more. [That’s why] it’s really important for women to be part of the decision-making when it involves peace and security.”

Vietnam Nurses: These Are the Women Who Went to War (June 1984)

From the June 1984 issue of Ms. magazine:

“So little is known about the nurses of Vietnam that there are not even accurate statistics on how many were there. Official guesstimates ranged anywhere from 7,500 to 55,000. So, it is not surprising that as vets, they often feel invisible. Countless nurses did not know that they had been entitled to GI education benefits. Unfortunately, for most, the 10-year time period for qualification after leaving the service had expired.

“There were more amputees from Vietnam than any other war. … Nurses often suffered a more severe emotional mauling than soldiers who had respites from combat.”

Ukraine’s Frontline Mothers

More and more women have joined the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) since the country’s large-scale mobilization rapidly rolled out this past year, switching up the traditional wartime narrative that portrays women, and mothers with children especially, as victims of war instead of as agents of change.

(This article originally appears in the Spring 2023 issue of Ms. Join the Ms. community today and you’ll get the issue delivered straight to your mailbox!)

This Earth Day, Celebrate 20 Environmental Justice Organizations Bringing the Outside to Us All

Ms. celebrates Earth Day by featuring the work of a diverse body of activists who have founded groups that aim to make outdoor spaces, pursuits and environmental activism welcoming and safe for all.

From organizations that focus on women and girls, people of color, the queer community, the formerly incarcerated, children from economically challenged families, veterans and those who are disabled, here are 20 groups you might enjoy joining or supporting as we work towards such a future.

Another Suspicious Death at a Texas Military Base Shows the Urgency of Addressing Military Sexual Harassment and Assault

Mourners recently attended a memorial service for Pvt. Ana Fernanda Basaldua Ruiz, who was found murdered at the same Texas military base where U.S. Army Soldier Vanessa Guillén was brutally murdered in 2020. Ruiz’s death has renewed focus on the Army’s handling of sexual harassment—since before her death, Ruiz had told several family members and friends that she had been sexually harassed. Before she was killed, Guillén had also reported to her supervisor two instances of sexual harassment by a fellow soldier, but he and other officials failed to report the harassment up the chain.

As a Marine, I have heard the stories of sexual assault and harassment and have seen firsthand the devastating effects it can have on those who experience it. It is time for the U.S. military to recognize this problem and provide evidence-based therapies and resources to service members who have experienced this devastating trauma. 

Meet Three Women Peace-Builders and Peacekeepers

Three women who challenge traditional gender roles in peace-building and peacekeeping on a daily basis: Anny Modi, Téné Maimouna Zoungrana and Colonel Stephanie Tutton are at the forefront of the humanitarian responses, mobilizing communities, advocating for human rights and the restoration of peace. Their stories testify to their contribution to fostering positive change within peacekeeping operations and demonstrate why we need more women in peace- and political processes and U.N. Peacekeeping.

Feminists and Friends Reflect on Pat Schroeder’s Legacy

Since the news broke about Pat Schroeder’s death on March 14, there have been thousands of tributes, obituaries, tweets and social media postings in her honor. They described her as a maverick, pioneer, feminist champion, trailblazer, fearlessly independent politician, and an icon and role model for many elected officials, men and women. We agree—but for the feminist movement, Pat Schroeder was much more. On March 22, 2023, the House of Representatives will honor Schroeder with a moment of silence. In honor of this one minute—60 seconds—of silence, we’ve compiled 60 stories from people who knew and admired Pat Schroeder.

“Pat was best known for being a fierce advocate for women. And many young women asked her for advice. She told them to make sure women were in rooms where decisions were being made. And if they were not, to kick the door down and hold the door open for those behind them.”

Dobbs’ Effect on Military Women: ‘Our Fighting Force Is Hindered and Our Security Is at Risk’

Forty percent of active-duty service women in the U.S. are stationed in states with abortion bans, as are 43 percent of civilian women working in the military. The time, cost and stress of traveling out of state will no doubt take a tremendous toll not only on women seeking abortion, but on the military itself and national security.

“Women who are active-duty service members do not get to choose what state they live in, which means they could lose abortion access at the whim of any state with an abortion ban.”

Why Military Women Are at Greater Risk of Breast Cancer

Millions of troops and their families stationed on contaminated military installations were exposed to a deadly combination of toxins responsible for triggering fatal illnesses. North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune is perhaps the most notorious example of widespread contamination affecting U.S. army bases.

Congress passed the Honoring Our PACT Act in August to facilitate veterans’ access to improved benefits through the V.A. for service-connected toxic exposure. The bill recognizes 23 new diseases as presumptive conditions—but breast cancer still isn’t one of them.