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A New Era For Women’s Equality: Ms. Magazine Reports O The Cabinet That Looks Like America

Image courtesy of Ms.

We are at a transformational shift to a new era of gender equality in the United States, with feminist women holding some of the most consequential levers of power. 

Kamala Harris, a Black woman of South Asian descent, is the first woman vice president; for the first time in U.S. history, President Joe Biden has appointed equal numbers of women (now at 48 percent) to the Cabinet; the House of Representatives is led by a feminist woman, Speaker Nancy Pelosi; and women chair some of the most powerful committees including Rep. Maxine Waters of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Rosa DeLauro of the Appropriations Committee and Rep. Carolyn Maloney of the Oversight and Reform Committee.

The Winter ‘21 cover of Ms. celebrates the first-ever gender-balanced U.S. presidential cabinet, proclaiming: “This is what democracy looks like.”

“This is a moment that feminists—including Ms. editors and our long-time readers, who have been at the forefront of the feminist movement for decades—have been working for,” says Kathy Spillar, Ms. executive editor. “There’s no denying that 2021 is going to be an exciting, impactful and critically important year in the long struggle for gender equality.”

In their feature article, “A Cabinet That Looks Like America,” Ms. writers Tiffany D. Barnes and Diana Z. O’Brien explore why and how gender parity in the new administration will make a difference in what government does and the impact on all our lives.  “It’s clear that a more diverse Cabinet has a positive effect on policy outcomes,” says Barnes. She and O’Brien conclude, “Cabinet appointees don’t just enact the president’s wishes; they also shape policy and guide the administration’s priorities. And researchers find that women’s presence in cabinets can lead to more gender-equitable outcomes.

More women in cabinets is associated with more government spending on public health and family benefits, as well as female-friendly labor policy.” When confirmed by the Senate, half (48 percent) of President Biden’s Cabinet will be women, including eight women of color—allowing the U.S. to be, for once, a global leader on women’s representation in public office. Previously, women have never represented more than eight of the 24 or 25 Cabinet or Cabinet-rank positions at one time, and people of color are even less likely to occupy these posts.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.