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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.

The invisible men with the arms

When it comes to gender based violence in Arab transition contexts, it is not only state militarism we should be concerned about, but the proliferation of militias and weapons across borders, argues Mariz Tadros

Preventing abuse in the UK: a matter of education

A new campaign by the UK Government’s Home Office, This Is Abuse, is a critical step to preventing violence against women and girls, but the Department for Education’s failure to support it is baffling, says Holly Dustin

Misogyny in the Greek parliament and media: a problem no-one wants to deal with

Chauvinism and corruption work in tandem to stifle public life in Greece.  The disparaging and dismissive treatment of female politicians points to a wider malaise. 

Seeking safety in Algeria: Syrian refugee women’s resilience

For many Syrian women in Algeria, the gendered experience of violence and displacement has been compounded by the discrimination they now face as women refugees, says Latefa Guemar.

The 'feminism' of patriarchy in Egypt

Images of women and the brutal violence against them, whether committed by the Army, Police, Muslim Brotherhood or thugs, are commodities that sell a certain shade of patriarchy to the people, says Zainab Magdy.

Human trafficking: From outrage to action

If we are to have any chance of addressing trafficking, Anne Gallagher argues that we should work towards the elimination of labour recruitment fees; advocate for a global minimum wage; and look at ways of criminalizing the knowing or reckless use of the services of a victim of trafficking

UK: Will proposed legislation mean deporting trafficking victims ?

As young girls, Saima and Linda were trafficked from Zimbabwe to London. It took them ten years to escape from forced prostitution and child labour. Yet Saima is exactly the kind of 'foreign criminal' the proposed UK Immigration Bill aims to deport. Is this what we want? 

Ending the stark choice: domestic violence or destitution in the UK

The introduction of the Destitution Domestic Violence concession in 2012 giving some migrant victims access to public funds was widely welcomed. However, while many have long waits for benefits, others still do not have a safety net to escape violence.  

Austerity and domestic violence: mapping the damage

Austerity has taken its toll on domestic violence provisions, in a fracturing that cuts across institutions, sectors and lives in the UK

Sexual harassment in UK schools

Sexual bullying in the classroom rarely makes the headlines. But one in three 16-18 year old girls in the UK have experienced unwanted sexual touching at school. What does this tacit acceptance of harassment teach our children?

The politics and culture of skin bleaching in Sudan

The past 25 years have witnessed fundamental sociopolitical and cultural changes in Sudan.  Women have been the terrain of many of the uneasy shifts in the country, even down to their skin, which they are now being encouraged to bleach.

Women’s human security rights in the Arab world: on nobody's agenda

Security breakdown has wreaked havoc with women’s lives in Arab transition countries, but it is hardly recognized in international debates on gender based violence, says Mariz Tadros

Excluded and silenced: Women in Northern Ireland after the peace process

There is a backlash against women’s agency in Northern Ireland in a number of different ways, all of which impact on the ability of women to participate fully in initiatives intended to deal with the legacy of the past and support the transition out of conflict.

An end to AIDS?: Not through medication alone

In the world of HIV, the allure of the bio-medical techno-fix still attracts many policy makers. Meanwhile a parallel world of care, support, community spirit and women’s resilience still beats quietly. On World AIDS Day Alice Welbourn considers the future of the AIDS pandemic

Immunity and impunity in peace keeping: the protection gap

Trafficking and sexual exploitation are an integral part of armed conflict and its aftermath. Madeleine Rees argues that the lack of political will and an interpretation of law that works in favour of perpetrators - including those working in international peace keeping institutions - must be addressed

The quest for gender-just peace: from impunity to accountability

Yakin Erturk reflects on the six years she spent working as the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, and argues that in order to build a gender- just peace, dis-empowering patriarchy and engaging with the feminist agenda of empowering women must be the guiding principle for all peace initiatives.

Problematic protection: the law on Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan

The attempt to get the Afghan parliament to ratify a key law on violence against women ended in a fiasco and has been angrily dismissed as the politicking of a single ambitious female politician. But the controversies around the EVAW law show that there are no perfect strategies available to women activists in Afghanistan.

Longing for Spring: The revolution that betrayed Arab women

Revolutions take time. The French Revolution was followed by years of terror and conflict before stability. Arab women have discovered through their revolutions that they can have a voice, and this, says Monique Villa, is the seed of hope for the future.

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