Countering Attacks on Women’s Equality

The Right’s attacks on women’s rights and women’s health have reached a fever pitch and are likely to grow in coming years. Right-wing groups emboldened by a political atmosphere increasingly hostile to women’s rights are ramping up their attacks—and we have to be ready to push back every step of the way.

From countering attempts to undermine reproductive rights to fighting for a country free from violence against women, standing up for gender equality is critical to achieving our vision of a vibrant democratic society that works for all of us. Attacks on women are attacks on progressive values.

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Recent Trends in the Right’s War on Women

  • Chipping away at choice: Right-wing groups like Americans United For Life are at the helm of the effort to gradually chip away at access to abortion by fighting reproductive rights in the courts and drafting model legislation for state legislatures.
  • Attacks on economic equality: Groups like the National Restaurant Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) are pushing right-wing elected officials to oppose measures essential to women’s economic livelihood, such as paid family and sick leave, a livable minimum wage, and equal pay for equal work.
  • Taking over the courts: Right-wing legal groups like the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation are trying to transform our courts at every level, including attempts to put judges on the bench who want to turn back the clock on women’s fundamental rights.

Read more on PFAW’s Right Wing Watch

What You Need to Know Now

With Donald Trump as our president and Republican-dominated legislative bodies at the state and national level across the country, women’s rights are facing serious, imminent threats—especially for women who are low-income, racial and religious minorities, immigrants, and members of other marginalized groups. From Congressional attacks on funding for women’s health to Supreme Court nominees hostile to women’s rights, there will be no shortage of challenges to confront. We have to stand ready to defend past gains towards legal, social, and economic equality and set ourselves up for more advances in the future.

For progressive advocates, this means being prepared to speak out against attacks at every level: local, state, and national. It means taking notice when our elected officials propose—or fail to fight against—measures harmful to women’s lives, and letting them know that we’re paying attention and ready to hold them accountable.

By the Numbers:

The number of restrictions on abortion put in place in 2016 in the United States.

2 in 3
The number of minimum wage workers in our country who are women—disproportionately women of color.

The number of women who could lose access to healthcare if Planned Parenthood were defunded.