Women's magazines promote women's public health

Women’s health and government policy go hand-in-hand. In a year that highlighted gendered abuses, women’s magazines have provided essential information.
In the past year, the value of women’s magazines has become more evident than ever. The volatile political climate in the United States has seeped across the border, and the #MeToo movement has brought life-or-death threats to women’s health and safety to the forefront. 
Women’s magazines are publications known for covering fashion, beauty, and celebrity culture. However, because of such features, these magazines are overlooked for the important reporting they do on women’s issues. 
As other issues take up space in the news cycle, women’s magazines have ensured women stay informed on issues that often uniquely affect them, such as sexual health, access to abortion, sexual harassment, and mental health. 
These magazines are an essential source of health information at a time when women’s health is once again drastically politicized and threatened.
Whether it’s access to abortion, contraceptive measures, issues of consent, or workplace protections against sexual harassment—women’s issues are shaped by policy. 
Women’s magazines understand that and make an effort to communicate the importance of these political decisions to their readers. 
After the recent provincial election, Flare magazine published a story highlighting their concerns about the Ontario government. Flare reporter Laura Hensley wrote Premier Ford’s support of pro-life policies is “a scary AF [sic] thought because reducing access to safe, legal abortions has historically put women in dangerous situations.”
This reporting addresses topical issues through a lens focused on and often written by women. So much of journalism overlooks the important issues women deal with—these magazines ensure women have the information they need to equip themselves for the 21st century. 
Access to abortion and birth control have been long-fought battles for women, and magazines like Flare and Elle Canada call out those who jeopardize that access. 
Furthermore, these articles promote political mobilization. With Ontario’s reform of sex ed, magazines like Seventeen and Teen Vogue step in where government fails. Young adults can turn to these sources for reliable information about their sexuality and learn about available resources.
These publications prioritize and validate women’s issues. In doing so, they allow their readers to follow their example.
While these publications are so often viewed simply as advertising for fashion and beauty brands, they are a critical resource for women to understand how politics impact them.
For so long, men’s issues have been viewed as political issues, and women’s issues as personal issues. This growing trend of political reporting in women’s magazines challenges that narrative and empowers audiences through knowledge. 
Brigid is The Journal’s Arts Editor. She is a fourth-year politics student.

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