Chloe Bell is a case manager at the National Abortion Federation. She spends her days helping people cover the cost of an abortion and, increasingly, the interstate travel many of them need to get the procedure. “What price did they quote you?” Bell asked a woman from New Jersey who had called the organization’s hotline seeking money to pay for an abortion. Her appointment was the next day. “They quoted me $500,” said the woman, who was five weeks pregnant when she spoke to Bell in November. She gave permission for a journalist to listen to the call on the condition that she not be named. “We can definitely help,” Bell told her.
Schools, shops, banks and Iceland's famous swimming pools shut on Tuesday as women in the volcanic island nation – including the prime minister – went on strike to push for an end to unequal pay and gender-based violence. Icelanders awoke to all-male news teams announcing shutdowns across the country, with public transport delayed, hospitals understaffed and hotel rooms uncleaned. Trade unions, the strike's main organisers, called on women and nonbinary people to refuse paid and unpaid work, including chores. About 90% of the country's workers belong to a union.
Chilean society is once again at the culmination of a transformative constitutional process. This pivotal juncture will decide whether the constitution drafted by a legislature dominated by conservative and right-wing parties will replace the current constitution which was established during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. After a first failed attempt to establish a new constitution, this new draft introduces stricter measures concerning irregular migration, firmly entrenches the existing pension and healthcare systems—both subjects of substantial critique. It additionally introduces provisions that pose significant threats to sexual and reproductive rights, specifically through the establishment of “rights for those who are about to be born” and the legalization of “conscientious objection” regarding the provision of goods and services.
On Wednesday, September 6, Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) unanimously ruled to decriminalize abortion at the national level. The SCJN resolved that the legal system that criminalizes abortion in the Federal Penal Code is unconstitutional as it violates the human rights of women and people with capacity for pregnancy. The ruling came two years after the SCJN first declared criminal penalties for abortion as unconstitutional and ordered the northern State of Coahuila to remove sanctions for abortion from its criminal code in September 2021. The ruling was in response to a case filed in 2018 challenging a criminal law in the Coahuila State legislation that punished women and pregnant individuals for terminating their pregnancy.
UPS is a male-dominated corporation, both on the corporate side and on the union/worker side. And like across all institutions of our society, there are structural obstacles, challenges, prejudices, issues that women uniquely face at UPS. You could say the same thing about non-white and particularly Black UPSers, as well as LGBTQ+ UPSers. There is a long history of women organizing at UPS that we can’t fully cover here. I’ll throw some links in the show notes that you should definitely check out. That includes the group UPSurge. Yes, UPSurge, which was a largely women-led militant group in 1970s pushing for a fair contract at UPS, members of which eventually merged into the movement we all know Teamsters for a Democratic Union.
25 years ago, in May 1998, the Left Democratic Front government of the Indian state of Kerala started the Kudumbashree program as part of the State Poverty Eradication Mission. The program aimed to socially and financially emancipate women by providing them employment opportunities and space to enter decision making bodies. Today, 25 years on, the program has been a massive success with a notable rise in women’s presence in legislative bodies, as well as a large number of women working in various micro enterprises and agricultural projects. TN Seema, a former member of parliament from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) talks about the journey of the program and where it stands today.
The pandemic brought the spotlight on many of the wrongs of capitalism, among them the issue of unpaid labor. The term unpaid labor is generally associated with care work—care for children, the elderly, the sick, and the family—mostly considered “women’s work.” For the majority of care work, capitalism does not provide any remuneration; instead, the “payment” is societal – praise for women’s “motherly nature” while violating all their rights as members of the working class, thus making women what I call “the proletariat of the proletariat.” Although gender-based discrimination in the working class has existed since the establishment of private property, as explained by Engels in his well-known treatise The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (1884), the matter came into sharper focus during the pandemic.
Puerto Ricans had no say in the U.S. war of conquest with Spain over its colonial possessions or in the Treaty of Paris that dictated they were to become the property of a new empire. The United States acted according to a well-crafted strategic narrative of white saviorism and American exceptionalism without concern for the people whose land it stole. It wanted to further its control to the south and east via its expansionist foreign policy – and it needed to extend military power beyond its violently acquired borders to do so; the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, known as the cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy, provided the impetus.
There is no need to delve too deeply into statistical data when the findings are obvious. For instance, when women and men work at the same job, women are paid – on average – 20 percent less than men. To raise awareness about this persistent disparity, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and United Nations Women host the International Equal Pay Day every year on 18 September and, through their Equal Pay International Coalition, lobby corporations and governments to close the yawning gender pay gap. The idea of ‘equal pay for equal work’ was established in the ILO’s Equal Remuneration Convention (1951) in recognition of the fact that women had always worked in industrial factories, increasingly so during the Second World War.
Women represent about 9 percent of all incarcerated people in the United States, but data about their circumstances is spotty at best. We do know that in recent decades, imprisonment rates for women have increased dramatically, growing at twice the pace of men’s incarceration. A report published this month by the nonprofit think tank Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) provides one of the most comprehensive recent assessments of the realities facing women and girls held in the country’s prisons and jails. PPI teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union to pull data from several government agencies, which can often be fragmented or out of date.
In Argentina, women and gender-diverse people participated in a national strike, organized for the seventh consecutive year, and mobilized throughout the country demanding an end to gender discrimination and violence against women and members of the LGBTQI+ community.
Violence against women continues in Mexico, and in 2022 it broke a record in the number of homicides. According to the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, last year, there were 3,754 homicides of women, of which only 947 (equivalent to 33.7%) were investigated as femicides, and the vast majority have not been solved. The rest were classified as “intentional homicide.” This is equivalent to 10 to 11 women killed every day, and it represents an increase compared to 2021, which ended with 2,749. The most violent month was June, which ended with 279 killings of women, followed by May with 261 and August with 258. Justice rarely prevails in these cases.
While having children often leads to less pay for mothers, fatherhood leads to an increase: Men with children typically earn more than both women — with or without kids — and men without children. This parenthood paradox, at least in part, may be responsible for maintaining the gender pay gap, which has been consistent for 20 years. Gender stereotypes around parents are so deeply embedded into American work culture that they have had a significant impact in not just how mothers are treated in the workplace, but in how employers compensate fathers, according to a new study of census data by the Pew Research Center, released Wednesday.
Boston, Massachusetts - A month ago, I heard on the news that Boston public schools would be closed on February 3 because of the severe Arctic cold and wind chill forecast for that day and the next. My first thought was: what if the students’ mothers are working single mothers, what if they cannot take off or cannot afford to lose the pay – given inflation of food, energy and rents and the impoverishing impact of Covid? Boston is a severely unequal city with an extremely segregated public school system: 80 percent of children in public school are low income; 90 percent are students of color, mainly Latino and Black; higher income families with children leave for suburbs when their children become of school age, according to the Dorchester Reporter.