Women & Democracy

Women & Democracy is Ms. magazine’s online forum that focuses on key issues impacting full and fair representation in our democracy, spearheaded by Ms. executive director for partnerships and strategy, Jennifer Weiss-Wolf. Several times a year, Ms. publishes a new multimedia package landing page on a single issue, together with a dedicated partner, that focuses on key issues impacting full and fair representation in our democracy. Past partners have included the Brennan Center for Justice, Center for Reproductive Rights and Supermajority, among others.

The ERA Is Essential to Democracy

Gender equality is the backbone of a free and fair democracy … which is why the fight to enshrine equality into the U.S. Constitution is foundational to Ms. and has been so since the magazine’s inception. Today we are closer than ever to securing the Equal Rights Amendment in the Constitution—just as the real-time need for its protections couldn’t be more alarmingly urgent.

For Women’s History Month 2024, this curated series answers key questions: What will it take to fully and finally recognize the ERA as the 28th Amendment? How strong is public support for the ERA? (Spoiler alert: VERY.) What are modern state-level ERAs already accomplishing? And how will the ERA help turn the tide against rollbacks to abortion and reproductive freedom in our post-Dobbs society?

Among the site’s content is a deep dive and dedicated podcast about a major judicial ruling in Pennsylvania that shows the power of leveraging the ERA to support abortion rights. And the hits keep coming: In recent weeks, an appeals court in Minnesota deemed denial of emergency contraception a form of sex discrimination, just as a district court required Nevada Medicaid to pay for abortions under the state Equal Rights Amendment.

We are grateful to partner with the ERA Project at Columbia Law, the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Center at NYU Law, and our publisher, Feminist Majority Foundation, as well as a variety of guest experts—and, as ever, to work every day with activists and organizers moving and shaking to make change, especially colleagues at the ERA Coalition. If you are inspired by this Women & Democracy installment, we invite you to join the fight for the ERA; take action here at Sign4ERA.org.

Feminist Journalism Is Essential to Democracy

Fall 2023 | presented by Ms. and the International Women’s Media Foundation

In the decades since Ms. magazine was launched, and in the face of a constantly-evolving media landscape, the need for feminist-focused news coverage and perspective has perhaps never been greater than it is today. With this installment of Women & Democracy, Feminist Journalism Is Essential to Democracy, we are proud to partner with the International Women’s Media Foundation, an essential resource for strengthening the twin goals of gender equity and press freedom worldwide. Our shared grounding principle: Journalists can and must boldly, unequivocally center women’s lives and feminist perspectives.

Women’s Rights and Backsliding Democracies

Spring/Summer 2023 | presented by Ms., the NYU Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Center, and Rewire News Group

Can a country that has never truly addressed women’s equality ever be a thriving democracy? And are democracies that have abysmal records on gender equity destined to falter? For this installment of Women & Democracy, we joined forces with NYU Law’s Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network and Rewire News Group to create Women’s Rights and Backsliding Democracies—a combination of in-person events, audio and video recordings, podcasts, essays and more.

The Majority Rules

Winter/Spring 2023 | presented by Ms. and the Supermajority Education Fund

A Women & Democracy installment: The Majority Rules are a set of rules that value all of us—our bodies, our lives and our work. Featuring art from artist Molly Crabapple, The Majority Rules is an artful video and essay series created by Supermajority Education Fund, which marks an essential step toward achieving gender equality. Movement leaders articulate five key rules and the values they reflect—safety, respect, autonomy, full and fair representation. Among the multiracial, intergenerational community of contributors: Stephanie Beatriz, Amanda Brown Lierman, Alicia Garza, Mariska Hargitay, Ai-jen Poo, Cecile Richards, Reshma Saujani and others.

Women Saving Democracy

Fall 2022 | presented by Ms., the Brennan Center for Justice, and RepresentWomen

In this Women & Democracy installment, aptly named Women Saving Democracy, we take a deep dive into the very state of our nation’s systems of justice and democracy; we explore how women’s leadership makes a difference; and we assess what kinds of reforms could ensure more fair representation and democratic outcomes. We’re proud to feature a diverse slate of powerhouse women who serve in an array of roles—as attorneys general, secretaries of state, and local election officials, from across the country and representing both parties—through reported pieces, their own firsthand accounts, pre-recorded video events, and Ms. Studios podcast episodes.

Beyond Roe: The Fight for Our Future

Summer 2022 | presented by Ms. and the Center for Reproductive Rights

In this Women & Democracy installment, Ms. joined with law and policy experts at the Center for Reproductive Rights to publish Beyond Roe: The Fight for Our Future—a series of essays, podcast and video content that explores the legal fight after the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Abortion Is Essential to Democracy

Women & Democracy pilot: Fall 2021 | presented by Ms. and the Brennan Center for Justice

After S.B. 8 went into effect in Texas, and following the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling allowing its enforcement, staff from across the Brennan Center for Justice came together to show solidarity, express outrage, and articulate a response. That morphed into an electrifying brainstorm with Ms., the result of which is captured in an array of essays: Abortion Is Essential to Democracy. (This series was a prototype for the later-established Women & Democracy platform.)