This week's guest editors

The invisible war: Sexual assault in the American military

Thousands of soldiers, mostly women, have been the victims of rape and sexual assault in the American military. Politicians and the Pentagon are worried about the growing epidemic of this behaviour. All twenty women Senators decided “enough was enough”

A choir of lost voices: the murder of Loretta Saunders and Canada's missing women

The murder of Loretta Saunders, a talented young scholar who researched missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada, brought into sharp focus the structural violence that compounds violence against women, and the stinging injustice of Canada’s 825 lost Aboriginal women.  Women who deserved to be honoured with more than the government’s sluggish and half-hearted gestures.

Elegy for queers for economic justice

Ynestra King laments the untimely closing of a visionary US queer social justice organization, and reflects on its contributions to the US left and the reasons for its demise.

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.

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.

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.

The war against contraception: “Women need to be liberated from their libidos."

The new Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires all health plans to pay for contraception. Some religious organizations and corporations are so angry that they have taken their case to the US Supreme Court.

Constitutional rights, sexual rights, and "morality" in India

In the aftermath of the recent rulings in India re-criminalising homosexuality, Poonam Joshi reports on the critical role that grassroots LGBTI activists play in building public support for LGBTI rights in Karnataka

Embracing shame: turning honour on its head

The challenge that embracing shame poses to the longstanding perversion of honour, is the struggle for women’s human rights -  the realisation of which will result in the entire community’s advancement and healing.

The Liberty Train: "Because I Decide"

A women’s group on the northern coast of Spain devised a plan to fill a train full of protestors against Government proposals to reform the abortion law by destroying a woman’s right to decide. “El Tren de la Libertad” - destination Madrid - was the result. Liz Cooper got on board at Valladolid.

Forced sterilization and impunity in Peru

Between 1995-2000, 300,000 women in Peru, mostly poor indigenous peasants who did not speak Spanish, were forcibly sterilized by the Fujimori government. The Peruvian feminist movement has been trying to bring Fujimori and his officials to trial for this crime against humanity ever since. Last month the case was thrown out for a second time.

Acid attacks: showing my face, raising my voice

Women who have survived acid attacks are speaking out and refusing to have their identity destroyed. Samira Shackle spoke to some of the survivors in Islamabad who are campaigning to strengthen legislation against this most brutal form of gender based violence.

Why are women in Kenya still dying from unsafe abortions?

Kenya’s Constitution permits access to safe abortion, yet Kenyan women still resort to unsafe methods of termination with countless women dying as a consequence. Saoyo Tabitha Griffith analyses what the Kenyan government needs to do to affirm women’s rights to life and health.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

"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

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