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Sexual violence in Bosnia: how war lives on in everyday life

Rape has been recognized as a war crime in international and Bosnian law, but women survivors seldom receive the reparation they are owed. Meanwhile, persistent male violence makes daily life in Bosnia-Herzegovina a battleground for many women.

20 years of arbitrary detention in Britain

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of Campsfield, the immigration removal centre which heralded a mass expansion of detention and opened the door for profit in immigration control in Britain. Yet outside the prison and within, there are voices of dissent, says Bill MacKeith.

Ready and able to decide the future of Scotland

As Scots embark on a year of discussing their country’s position within the United Kingdom, one alliance of organisations is determined to ensure that citizens with learning disabilities are a well-informed part of the debate

Rape in the UK: myths about myths

The old myths around rape persist. Many people still believe that 'serious' rape must be a violent attack. Now new voices are entering the debate. They claim that legal and academic 'experts' are using rape myths to shut down discussion and subvert the law.

Finland’s paradox of equality: professional excellence, domestic abuse

Finland is regularly touted as a paragon of gender equality and one of the most progressive countries for women’s rights.  So why are its rates of domestic violence almost twice the European average?

What will it take to end violence against women?

Twenty years after the United Nations declared violence against women to be a violation of their human rights, we are still a long way from gender violence becoming unacceptable in a society 

Takeovers and makeovers: using the landscape to re-write history in post-revolutionary Cairo

Clearing sites of mass protest in Cairo and stamping them with symbolic representations of their preferred narrative of order and stability, the military authorities are striving to relegate the revolution to the past. Yet, these new cityscape makeovers continue to be contested.

India: The BJP, rape, and the status of women

A new group of secular intellectuals in India argues that the BJP’s real attitude towards women is based on a fascist communally-based politics in which women are seen not as individuals with rights, but as bearers of their community’s honour, to be protected or raped, depending who they are.

Grief and rage in India: making violence against women history?

There was uproar in India at the brutal gang rape of a 23 year old student on her way home from the cinema. Can we harness the international attention to this case to demand that the world's leaders commit themselves to a policy of zero tolerance of violence against women in the post-Millennium Development Goals agenda?

Remembering our dead: global violence against trans people

In most countries, data on murdered trans people are not systematically produced. Meaningful research requires government backing, but the lack of recognition, through ignorance or malice, for trans people and the violence they face, remains a massive barrier to its commission

Political motherhood vs violence against mothers

The Activist Mothers of Xalapa have united their individual power as mothers to create a collective political motherhood that has resisted many patriarchal institutions in the past, and could well be the driving force of a new society based on nurturing life instead of selling it, says Alda Facio.

"160 Girls": Making legal history in the fight against sexual violence

A landmark decision by the High Court in Kenya found that police inaction in dealing with rape cases brought by 160 girls had created a climate of impunity for defilement, which rendered the State indirectly responsible for the harms inflicted on the girls by their rapists

Isa Muazu, the hunger striker and us, the monster

A man in detention in Britain is close to death having refused food and drink for over 80 days. The government’s response has been to issue an ‘end of life plan’. His death could be a death sentence for us all.

Philosophies of migration

Given the critical challenges and opportunities posed by migration, can the UK really afford to keep concentrating on the question of who is on the 'inside' and who is on the 'out'? We need a philosophy of what is good rather than a politics of fear, says Jenny Allsopp.

When the judge is a woman

Redressing the historical and structural male domination of judicial systems requires that we consider the impact of gender on judges, citizens, and the text of law itself. Reflections on the conversations at the ‘le juge est une femme’ conference at the Université libre de Bruxelles.

Bankrupting democracy

Michigan’s political elite is pushing the city of Detroit—wellspring of industrial unionism, home of soul music—into bankruptcy.  In the words of Marvin Gaye, “What’s going on?”

Gender and development debates: overlooking diversity

Twenty five years after Gita Sen and Caren Grown made an appeal for development practitioners to use the diversity of feminisms as a starting point to work towards achieving more just societies, Anastasia Chung asks why this appeal is overlooked in gender and development paradigms today

US interventions in East Africa: from the Cold War to the 'war on terror'

During the Cold War years, while British colonialists were being driven out of East Africa, the first US intervention in the region occurred in Zanzibar. It proved to be a model - many aspects of which are being repeated in the 'War on Terror'.

Marxism and feminism have a lot to tell each other: can they find the words?

Thirty years ago women were writing of 'the unhappy marriage of marxism and feminism'. Though the two schools of thought cohabit uneasily, the recent annual Historical Materialism conference in London showed that each has something to gain from listening to the other

Sudan’s popular protest movement: will the international community continue to ignore it?

The recent protests in Sudan were characterized by unprecedented levels of street participation. Dalia Haj-Omar asks why the international community continues to ignore the regime’s long-term governance failures, choosing economic interests over human rights, and failing to offer tangible support for the democracy that Sudanese citizens are demanding

Secular space: bridging the religious-secular divide?

One of the goals in a new report on women and Arab Spring by CARE International is to build bridges between religious and secular women.  Gita Sahgal says this fails to address the real problem: the rise of fundamentalism and the lack of clarity on the need for a secular state.

Who are the ‘illegals’?

The UK Immigration Bill has no clear targets: it gives ordinary individuals the power to decide. Will we use an accurate legal definition, or act on what we read in the papers and hear from the Home Secretary herself? Asks Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi

She Left Me the Gun: on story-telling and re-telling

Emma Brockes’ exploration of her mother’s life in South Africa, and what made her leave, is also a study in writing the complexity of women’s lives, and the powerful and elusive nature of story-telling.

Women's 'secure estate': Does the punishment fit the crime ?

Incarceration is emblematic of women’s confined and marginalised position in society. Reducing women’s imprisonment in the UK is a social justice imperative, says Jenny Earle

On girls, performance and the internet

Meet Catherine Bennett: an alternative, positive role model for girls. Created as an antidote to the flood of sexual and misogynistic representations of women that surround girls today, Bennett is a testament to the emancipating power of digital performance.

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