Why Kamala Harris and ‘Firsts’ Matter, and Where They Fall Short

Kamala Harris will forever have “first” attached to her name — the first woman, the first Black American and the first person of South Asian descent to serve as vice president of the United States.

If the Biden administration’s choices for cabinet members and senior officials are approved, many of them will also be firsts — including the first Black, Latino, Native American, female and openly gay and transgender leaders to serve in various positions. Read more>>>

COVID Is Pushing Black Mothers Out of the Workforce at a Staggering Rate

That the burdens of COVID-19 are not borne equally by all has been apparent from the beginning. Vox reported last month, for example, that Black Americans infected with the virus are dying at twice the rate of white Americans. In July, the New York Times found that Black and Latinx residents of the United States were three times as likely to become infected as their white neighbors. And this week, a new report found that amid all the economic chaos caused by the pandemic, Black women with children are being forced out of the workforce at rates far higher than any other group. Read more>>>

Anita Hill-Led Hollywood Commission Details Sexual Harassment Claims in Industry Workplaces

In its latest survey, the Hollywood Commission, an organization chaired by Anita Hill, found that gender harassment, or offensive workplace talk, is the most common type of harassment in the entertainment industry. Read more>>>

Anita Hill-led survey finds 20 percent of women and 10 percent of men have been sexually assaulted in entertainment

Anita Hill knows how sexual harassment can upend a career.

The lawyer who testified that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her saw her reputation vilified and story questioned in the national media. So as head of the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, Hill’s assessment of the Hollywood Survey carries a particular weight. Read more>>>

Nurses Are at High Risk for Covid Among Health Workers, C.D.C. Says

Among health care workers, nurses in particular have been at significant risk of contracting Covid-19, according to a new analysis of hospitalized patients by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more>>>

Thank You, RBG

In 1971, I interviewed a young doctor in Michigan who had been working as an ER physician but wanted to open her own medical practice. She applied for a bank loan, and was duly informed she needed her husband’s signature in order to get the loan.

Mind you, the doctor was earning a substantial salary at the time; her husband was unemployed, but no matter. She had to get his signature. Read more>>>

Letters from an American

The big story today is big indeed: how and when the seat on the Supreme Court, now open because of the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, will be filled. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced within an hour of the announcement of Ginsburg’s passing that he would move to replace her immediately. Trump says he will announce his pick for the seat as early as Tuesday. 

Democrats are crying foul. Their immediate complaint is that after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February 2016, McConnell refused even to meet with President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, on the grounds that it was inappropriate to confirm a Supreme Court justice in an election year. He insisted voters should get to decide on who got to nominate the new justice. This “rule” was invented for the moment: in our history, at least 14 Supreme Court justices have been nominated and confirmed during an election year. (Three more were nominated in December, after an election.) 

There is a longer history behind this fight that explains just why it is so heated… and what is at stake. Read more>>>

These moms have a lot in common but faced a big difference: One got paid maternity leave and one didn’t

Shaylene Costa is a medical assistant who lives in Rhode Island. Dominique Jett is a health-care supervisor in Las Vegas.

Both are Black women, married and employed full time in the health-care industry. Each was thrilled when they found out they were expecting their first child. Both experienced difficult pregnancies and complications at birth.

But once they delivered, their paths diverged: One had paid family and medical leave and one didn’t. Read more>>>

The Key to an Inclusive Recovery? Putting Women in Decision-Making Roles

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka pounds the table for women and girls.

As she speaks, it’s like a drumbeat — how girls need to complete their education, how they need access to technology, how child marriage and pregnancy will set a girl on a path of economic hardship. You can hear it as she points to girls who are trafficked — “you know they are lost to society and their rights will be violated in unimaginable ways.” And you can hear it as she speaks of the cycles of violence, abuse and poverty that trap women and girls for life. If they raise their voices, the outcomes may be more dangerous than if they stay silent. Read more>>>

What Will It Take to Achieve Gender Equality in American Politics?

In the past century, since the passage of the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, Americans developed nuclear bombs, traveled to space and invented the Internet. But the country has not come even close to achieving equal representation for women and men in politics. Read more>>>

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