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