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UK: will the Lords see through the Transparency of Lobbying Bill?

A Bill supposedly designed to restore trust in Parliament will obstruct the work of those who campaign for the disenfranchised, while allowing powerful corporations and industry lobbyists unscrutinised access to ministers.

The Modern Slavery Bill: does the British government really care?

If we are really serious about abolishing slavery in the west today, Rahila Gupta argues that we have to abolish immigration controls so that people can take action against their abusers without fearing deportation.

Deported from Japan: until death do us part

February will see the final judgment in the case of Abubakar Awudu Suraj, a Ghanian national who died whilst being deported from Japan. An interview with his widow highlights States’ powers to regulate migrants' intimate relationships with their citizens.

Criminalising forced marriage in the UK: why it will not help women

New proposals to criminalise forced marriage are due for their penultimate reading in the House of Lords this month. Amrit Wilson reports on one of the most strongly contested pieces of legislation relating to gender to go through Parliament in recent years

Syrian women demand to take part in the peace talks in Geneva

There are over fifty Syrian women in Geneva this week. They are demanding a ceasefire in Syria and to be part of the planned peace talks in Geneva, January 22. Supported by international women's organisations, they are there to break the medieval narrative and to ensure that the voices of those who believe in humanity are heard.

What’s a woman worth?: wages and democracy in Cambodia

In demanding higher wages, Cambodian women are refusing the status of the proverbial “second-class (global) citizen,” undervalued and over-determined by gender discrimination. If men take over the frontline of the movement, they will de facto doom its greatest potential in raising wages, along with women’s status and worth. Read in French, Spanish.

Neoliberal neopatriarchy: the case for gender revolution

We are living in a distinctive moment when neoliberal capitalism and neopatriarchy converge. Male dominance is no mere footnote to this new historic settlement. It is central. And feminism is decisive in the resistance, says Beatrix Campbell in conversation with Cynthia Cockburn

US Republicans and their “Female Troubles”

As the 2014 midterm elections loom on the horizon, American Republicans fear they may lose a sizable female vote because they have spent the last eight years vilifying women and voting against their major concerns.

Getting serious about data on women

Unprecedented access to data and information has been a tremendous boon to those who care about the situation of women worldwide. Valerie Hudson argues that it's now time to address the gaps in the "data" and to be smarter about collecting, compiling and using data concerning women. 

Black, male, care leaver, seeking asylum: access to higher education in Britain

Despite their determination and aspiration, many young asylum seekers are being barred from higher education by multiple discriminations. The current inquiry on Race and Higher Education must recognise this fact.  

India: Whose law is it anyway ?

Cultural justifications for upholding Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalizes homosexuality are untenable, given the colonial antecedents of the legislation, the cultural heterogeneity of the populations it was imposed upon, and the liberal sexual mores which prevailed among many sections historically.

Degrees of privilege

We pretend that the university entry system is broadly meritocratic. But in Britain the privately educated child of a professional family is three times more likely to get into a top university than the child of poorer parents. It will take radical reforms to reverse that.

Austerity policies in Europe are fuelling social injustice - and violating human rights

A new report by the Council of Europe provides detailed evidence that austerity measures have corroded civil and political rights and made economic, social and cultural rights less attainable.  Will the governments of Europe recognise the social cost of austerity – and can ‘human rights’ work as a tool of resistance?

The short unhappy life of the “Committee on Equality of Opportunity for Women and Men” in Turkey

Policy aiming to address Turkey's real and persistent problem of gender inequality must be formulated in consultation with feminists. Unfortunately, there is ample reason to doubt that a government that refuses to name a problem can solve it, says Özlem Altıok.

What does Croatia’s same-sex marriage referendum mean?

The results of a referendum on the definition of marriage in Croatia were disappointing for those who hoped EU accession indicated a shift towards tolerance in the country. But a conservative-created wedge issue might be the spark for progressive Croatians to push for more long-term change.

The war on women: The newly invisible and undeserving poor in America

The U.S. Congress is fighting over how much to cut food assistance to needy families. Everyone knows that women and their children are the poorest people in America, but strangely, the faces of women have disappeared from the debate and have been absorbed into abstract “needy families.” 

Women in Sierra Leone: Resisting dispossession

Women are losing their land and livelihoods in the face of land grabs, discriminatory traditions and customs, and the lack of a strong legal framework. Mariama Tarawallie report on the fight back by women mobilising at grassroots to claim their land rights in Sierra Leone

The rape victims prosecuted for "false" rape allegations

Gail Sherwood was raped three times by a stalker, forced to retract her allegations and sentenced to two years in prison. Lisa Longstaff argues that her case is one example of a police witch-hunt against women wrongly accused of lying about rape that is undermining 35 years of campaigning for justice

Nelson Mandela: Who tells the story?

I don’t believe that the story of forgiveness and reconciliation in our collective transition to democracy in the 'new South Africa' is untrue. The problem is that it has become the only story we are allowed to tell, says Chantelle de Nobrega

Working class feminism is alive and well, and it doesn’t need ‘re-branding’

The recession has caused a political resurgence amongst women in some of our poorest communities, but both their experiences and political activities have often been sidelined by the media’s vilification of working-class people and the individualistic preoccupations of ‘re-branded’ consumer-feminism.  

Due diligence for women's human rights: transgressing conventional lines

On international human rights day, Yakin Ertürk discusses the new vulnerabilities faced by women, including refugee womenand the new opportunities for remedy offered by the international human rights system.

Human rights, social justice, and US exceptionalism

American politicians often talk as if human rights were only relevant in other countries, but grassroots organisations are increasingly using the human rights framework to win social and economic rights for the poorest and most marginalised people in the US. Cathy Albisa, director of the National Economic and Social Rights Inititative, spoke to Meredith Tax

Backlash: The unintended consequences of western human rights intervention

The collision of well-intentioned western activists and imperilled activists in the Global South illustrates the hazards of using global “naming and shaming” campaigns to apply pressure to developing nations with the hope of improving human rights practices.

Mandela: towards a non-sexist South Africa

Part of the blessing of Mandela’s longevity is that he modeled reflexive behaviour which changed over time. To realise his vision of a non-sexist South Africa, we might re-evaluate the patriarchal values which pervade our own lives, recognising our own ability to change.

Sexual exploitation in street gangs: protecting girls or changing boys?

In its recent report on sexual exploitation in street gangs, the Office of the Children's Commissioner for England is eloquent on the need for better protection of girls. It lacks any policy recommendation for a conscious remodelling of young masculinity.

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