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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

The right of offenders to get back on track

As prison reformers celebrate changes to UK law on disclosing criminal records, the campaigning organisation Unlock asks whether the reforms go far enough

The toll of rape and the lack of conviction

Why do so few rape cases lead to the alleged perpetrator being charged? A Bureau of Investigative Journalism analysis highlights how the police focus on the "consent" of the victim rather than her vulnerability to male exploitation.

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?

Martha Nussbaum, empathy, and the moral imagination

The emphasis in Martha Nussbaum’s work on the importance of the emotions in moral philosophy also posits that story-telling plays a central role in expanding our empathy and as such is a necessary part of a just society.

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

Feminist peacebuilding - a courageous intelligence

There are patriarchal reasons why women are disproportionately made to suffer in wars. It should not be surprising that women are disproportionately active in resisting and challenging violence, wars and armed oppression, says Rebecca Johnson.

Sri Lanka: women in conflict

What happened to the aspirations of Tamil women in the national liberation struggle which lasted nearly 30 years? Rahila Gupta covered the conflict in the mid-80s, and reflects on the situation today when the war appears to be decisively over, but the post-war reality remains as harrowing as ever, particularly for 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.

Lower aspirations for higher education

The British university system was until recently seen as one of the best in the world. Now students pay dearly for the privilege of supporting big business, says Barbara Gunnell 

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

Sun, sand...and indefinite detention

The UK’s second largest immigration detention centre is about to open in Weymouth. Jennifer Allsopp reports on local responses to the imminent presence of hundreds of foreigners, locked up off the coast of this small and friendly town. 

Bosnia and the universal theme of police brutality

In the Bosnian protests of the last months, the global scenario of police brutality has been re-enacted, with local specifics.  And the violence of the police is itself a symptom of the failure of the current Bosnian political order. 

African cyberfeminism in the 21st century

How are African feminist activists navigating the potential and the power dynamics of communication in the digital age? Jennifer Radloff surveys the field in her introduction to Feminist Africa’s latest edition, “e-spaces : e-politics”.

Feminist Africa: putting Africa’s feminist thinking on the intellectual map

This month oD 50.50's platform Our Africa launches a special collaboration with Africa’s leading gender studies journal Feminist Africa. Series editors Jessica Horn and Simidele Dosekun explain the thinking behind it.

The ‘equality’ that serves social injustice

Equality talk, with its roots in liberalism, defines those who aren’t considered equal as lacking.  A more radical approach is needed to tackle systemic and entrenched social injustice.

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.  

Refugee women in the UK: fighting back from behind bars

The experience of female asylum seekers is distinct to their gender, particularly when survivors of rape and torture, perpetrated by male state officials, are imprisoned and guarded by men here in the UK. Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi reports on the campaign to set them free.

Trojan Women in the twenty first century: women in war from Euripides to Syria

Last December, a small group of volunteers organised a production of ‘Trojan Women’ with female Syrian refugees now living in Jordan.  Heather McRobie speaks to two of the organisers about how art speaks to those who have survived conflict, and the significance of ‘Trojan Women’ in a modern context of women’s experiences of war.

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.

Banning nuclear weapons: point of no return

The Nayarit conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons demonstrated beyond doubt that preventing nuclear catastrophe is the responsibility and right of all. As Austria picks up the baton, the challenge will be to move forward in a process that is open to all and blockable by none

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.

Violence as a virus: the treatment

Following the riots in 2011, the UK government pledged to treat violence as a health issue. Niki Seth-Smith reports on a project that is doing just that, while millions are wasted in public money on surveillance, enforcement and gang crime.

Taking the mask off: Asylum seekers in Israel

‘In this land, rights are determined by being part of an ethnic tribe, not the human tribe’. In interview with Zina Smith, activist David Sheen argues that recent protests by African asylum seekers hold a mirror up to Israel.

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