In the months leading up to the 2022 US midterm elections, hundreds of thousands of Facebook users in swing states were targeted with advertisements asking them to sign the Women’s Bill of Rights – a relatively innocuous-sounding initiative presented as a crusade for women’s empowerment. “The Real Fight For Women,” read one version featuring a woman looking down at a cityscape and flexing her biceps. “We know what a woman is,” proclaimed another, its text hovering over a closeup of the Statue of Liberty.
But the Women’s Bill of Rights is a weapon in a war against gender equity being waged by a conservative non-profit women’s group. Independent Women’s Voice, or IWV, lobbies against the equal rights amendment, criticizes public school curriculum and opposes government-funded parental leave. Recently, they have turned their resources to fighting transgender rights. And, according to documents shared with the Guardian by watchdog True North Research, IWV budgeted nearly $6m to promote anti-trans messaging in 10 swing states in advance of last year’s midterms.
“Do not be fooled by their name,” said Alyssa Bowen, senior researcher and managing editor at True North. “This group is a tool of the right to advance an extremist agenda.”
Read the full story in The Guardian.