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Gender Politics Religion - prospects for gender equality and pluralism The stakes around politicised religion and its repercussions on governance have never been higher worldwide. The costs are highest for women, ethnic and religious minorities and youth. What are the challenges and opportunities for gender equality, pluralism and democratic participation?

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Sudanese university students demand a campus free of violence

In a courageous and unique act of collective action, students at the University of Khartoum in Sudan have gone on strike to protest the killing of a fellow student; demanding justice and a campus free of violence. Will their demands be met?

Algeria post-election: The democratic struggle continues

Steadfast in the face of a witch-hunt and physical attacks against their members, the Barakat citizen's movement will not give up the call for peaceful democratic transition, Karima Bennoune reports on the post-election challenges that lie ahead.

Algeria: voices for democratic transition cannot be silenced

In the six weeks since the citizens Barakat movement for a free and democratic Algeria was founded it has moved from cyberspace onto the streets. The voices calling for democratic transition are being heard. Pro-democracy activist Louiza Chennoub spoke to Karima Bennoune

Reclaiming feminist visions of empowerment

Glib and glossy visions of women’s empowerment, designed to avoid actual power structures, are being avidly promoted by corporations and the development industry alike. A new book by Srilatha Batliwala reminds us of what lies at the heart of feminist empowerment work.

Egypt: a space that isn't our own

Last month a young woman was mob attacked on Cairo University campus. Socially and culturally constructed circles that control our lives seem to be tightening at a time when individuals are trying their hardest to crack them open. Zainab Magdy explores whether women will ever find a space that is their own.

Feminism in action: Rewriting France's colonial past

Françoise Vergès talks to Kathleen B Jones about her life's work interlinking issues of women's oppression with anti-colonial struggles

South Africa: Gender equality and morality as citizenship

Twenty years after South Africa's first democratic elections, Chantelle de Nobrega explores what we can we learn about sex, gender and morality in democratic transitions

Troop withdrawals and women’s rights in Afghanistan

The ‘liberation of Afghan women’ was part of the dominant rhetoric used by international forces to justify military intervention and the ‘war on terror’ in post- 2001 Afghanistan. Yet, Afghanistan’s struggle for women’s rights did not begin with the arrival of troops, nor will it end upon their withdrawal

Gender violence, Narendra Modi and the Indian elections

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a good chance of winning the forthcoming general election in India. Amrit Wilson reports on discussions about what life has been like for women in the states where the BJP has been in power, and what may lie ahead

Contesting patriarchy-as-governance: lessons from youth-led activism

Youth-led mobilisation has mocked and exposed patriarchal power by unmasking its politics of social control. Are we on the threshold of a new politics of gender creating cross-gender alliances around struggles against autocracy?

US: why Women's History Month?

Every generation of little girls and women needs to learn its past so that it can imagine a future in which gender equality is the norm and not the exception. As part of openDemocracy's International Women's Day series, Ruth Rosen argues that it is still necessary to have a token month every year devoted to women's lives

CSW weather vane: fault lines and prospects for women's human rights

As battles over women’s human rights rage on around the world, governments have gathered in New York this week to set some definitive agreements at the UN’s annual Commission on the Status of Women

Gender violence in the media: elusive reality

The death of Reeva Steenkamp has highlighted the problematic way in which the media treat the issue of domestic violence.  We need a better way to transmit and therefore tackle the reality – how violence is built into our lives and how space is gendered, says Heather McRobie.

No sex, some lies and a video: Pakistan's Taliban impasse

It was not an act of violence against women but a macabre video that led to the abortion of this round of peace talks with the Taliban in Pakistan

Plotting for a woman-shaped peace: Syrian and Bosnian women confer

Bosnian women live with the malign consequences of a peace agreement engineered by internationals between male war leaders. Syrian peace negotiations are heading the same way. Recently Syrian women met with Bosnian counterparts to strategize for a peace that delivers on the interests of women and civil society.  

Football, religion and politics in Egypt

As Egypt’s military-backed regime moves to further consolidate its power, no spheres of civil society are free of state encroachment. Leila Zaki Chakravarti analyses the intricate relationships between football, religion and politics in the settling of political scores in post-revolutionary Egypt.

The anti-women gag law in Afghanistan: the pitfalls of hasty conclusions

Does the new criminal procedure code in Afghanistan really signal the definitive demise of all efforts to curb violence against women? An accurate reading of the law, and a more nuanced understanding of post-NATO developments and their impact on women’s rights tells a different story.

The war against contraception: “Women need to be liberated from their libidos."

The new Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires all health plans to pay for contraception. Some religious organizations and corporations are so angry that they have taken their case to the US Supreme Court.

Constitutional rights, sexual rights, and "morality" in India

In the aftermath of the recent rulings in India re-criminalising homosexuality, Poonam Joshi reports on the critical role that grassroots LGBTI activists play in building public support for LGBTI rights in Karnataka

For Aziz Smati on Valentine's Day

In honour of the determination of people like Algerian TV producer, Aziz Smati, who was shot exactly twenty years ago today, we must support all those who wield song against suicide belt, and wage art against fundamentalism, writes Karima Bennoune

Pour Aziz Smati, pour la Saint Valentin

Pour rendre hommage à la détermination de gens comme le producteur Algérien Aziz Smati, qui était victime d’un attentat il y a exactement 20 ans, il nous faut soutenir tous ceux qui opposent des chansons aux ceinture d’explosifs et luttent par l’art contre l’intégrisme, écrit Karima Bennoune

Embracing shame: turning honour on its head

The challenge that embracing shame poses to the longstanding perversion of honour, is the struggle for women’s human rights -  the realisation of which will result in the entire community’s advancement and healing.

The Liberty Train: "Because I Decide"

A women’s group on the northern coast of Spain devised a plan to fill a train full of protestors against Government proposals to reform the abortion law by destroying a woman’s right to decide. “El Tren de la Libertad” - destination Madrid - was the result. Liz Cooper got on board at Valladolid.

Egypt as a role model: an opportunity lost

The January 25th uprising offered Egypt the opportunity to become a role model for peaceful transition in the region and beyond. But with the hijack of the will of the people almost completed, Egypt is moving further away from realising democracy.

Gender-based censorship

Gender-based censorship, which takes many forms, can be seen in attempts to stifle women’s public voice - from the suppression of Taslima Nasrin’s series for Indian TV to death and rape threats against US feminist bloggers

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