First daughter, presidential adviser and failed shoe entrepreneur Ivanka Trump is hard at work empowering women! On Friday she headed to Iowa to campaign for Kim Reynolds, a Republican who became acting governor of the state last year, when Terry Branstad resigned to become US ambassador to China. Reynolds is facing off against the Democrat Fred Hubbell, a wealthy businessman who hasn’t run for public office before, and it’s a tight race.
If Reynolds wins she will be the first woman elected as governor in Iowa. But that would be nothing to celebrate. Having more women in office means nothing if those women enact regressive policies. And Reynolds’ horrific record on women’s health is a sign she would do just that. She has already been applauded by conservatives for signing the strictest abortion ban in America, which bars doctors from performing most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. That’s normally a mere six weeks into a pregnancy.
Ivanka hasn’t made her views on abortion clear. “I don’t talk about my politics,” she said when asked to take a clear yes-or-no stand on the issue in a 2016 radio interview. However, her support for Reynolds is just the latest sign that Ivanka is against women having the right to choose. Last year, for example, Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, wrote in her memoir that Jared Kushner and Ivanka offered her what she felt to be a “bribe”: Planned Parenthood could keep its federal funding if they stopped providing abortions, according to www.theguardian.com.
Despite the fact that she is basically a female version of her father, Ivanka continues to portray herself as a champion of women, flying around the world to talk about female empowerment. One of the most important ways to empower women, however, is to give them control over their reproductive rights. Ivanka’s support for Reynolds, who is doing everything she can to take those rights away, is yet another reminder that Ivanka is no friend to women.
As the midterms approach, here are some trailblazing women to know
2018 is being called the year of the woman, with record numbers of women running for office. Stacey Abrams could become the first black female governor in the US; Ayanna Pressley might become the first black woman to represent Massachusetts; Christine Hallquist could become the first transgender governor; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could be the youngest woman elected. The Guardian has a short video profiling these four trailblazers here. And you can read about Paulette Jordan, who could be the first Native American governor in the US here.
Google walkouts over treatment of women
Google employees staged unprecedented walkouts around the world this week over the company’s treatment of women. The walkouts were precipitated by a New York Times article alleging the company had protected several executives accused of sexual harassment. Employees walking out are asking for five key demands including a clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct.
America is locking up more women than ever
“The population of women in state prisons has increased by more than eight hundred per cent in the past four decades,” this New Yorker article about America’s “other family separation crisis” points out. Meanwhile, “the number of women in local jails is fourteen times higher than it was in the 1970s”.
Swimming in sexism
Swim England found itself in hot water this week when advice on its website, about choosing a flattering swimsuit, was criticized as sexist body-shaming. The English national governing body for swimming offered up swimsuit suggestions for women with a “flabby stomach”, “too long torsos” and a “boyish body” and stressed that “ensuring you have the right swimwear for body shape is vital”. The webpage has now been removed.
Sexual violence part of daily life for North Korean women
A harrowing new report by Human Rights Watch details the extent to which sexual violence against women is normalized in the authoritarian regime.
Melania Trump Be Best … at spending taxpayers’ money
According to federal spending records the first lady spent $95,050 at the Semiramis Intercontinental Cairo. This is quite the feat considering a spokeswoman for Trump said she was in Cairo for just six hours and didn’t spend the night there.