This week's editor

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Adam Ramsay is co-editor of OurKingdom.

Reclaiming feminist visions of empowerment

Glib and glossy visions of women’s empowerment, designed to avoid actual power structures, are being avidly promoted by corporations and the development industry alike. A new book by Srilatha Batliwala reminds us of what lies at the heart of feminist empowerment work.

Is the success of M-Pesa ‘empowering’ Kenyan rural women?

The popular mobile money transfer service, M-Pesa, appears to improve the everyday lives of  rural women in Kenya. But a review of some of the current research indicates a need for further conceptualisation of what women’s empowerment means.

CSW: Arguments for reducing the intense time burden of women's unpaid care work

Unpaid care work is one of the major barriers to women's rights, economic empowerment and poverty reduction. Will the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty, and the frantic efforts of women's rights advocates at the CSW in New York this week, get unpaid care work on to the post-2015 agenda ?

US: why Women's History Month?

Every generation of little girls and women needs to learn its past so that it can imagine a future in which gender equality is the norm and not the exception. As part of openDemocracy's International Women's Day series, Ruth Rosen argues that it is still necessary to have a token month every year devoted to women's lives

CSW weather vane: fault lines and prospects for women's human rights

As battles over women’s human rights rage on around the world, governments have gathered in New York this week to set some definitive agreements at the UN’s annual Commission on the Status of Women

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.

Sri Lanka: women in conflict

What happened to the aspirations of Tamil women in the national liberation struggle which lasted nearly 30 years? Rahila Gupta covered the conflict in the mid-80s, and reflects on the situation today when the war appears to be decisively over, but the post-war reality remains as harrowing as ever, particularly for women.

Unpaid care: the missing women’s rights issue

Unsupported and unshared care work perpetuates women’s poverty, political marginalization and social subordination. The distribution of care is not natural or inevitable, but rather socially constructed and in our power to change, says Kate Donald

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

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.

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

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.  

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

Afghanistan: beyond ethnicity

The international community has addressed Afghanistan through an ethnic prism. As anxiety grows about the future after international forces leave in 2014, a trajectory needs to be established towards a post-ethnic society--and the dispersed diaspora can play a role.

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

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.

Feminism: We are not calling for equal inequality

"Feminism is only frightening to those who gain the most from oppression, to those who would stifle the human spirit and hold the world in stasis. The rest of us really do have nothing to lose and everything to gain". Finn Mackay speaking at the FiL Conference

Londra’da Feminizm: Finn Mackay’in Kapanış Konuşması

Aşağıdaki metin, Londra Feminist Ağ’ın kurucusu olan ve Londra Feminist Gece Yürüyüşünü yeniden başlatan Finn Mackay’ın “Feminism in London 2013” konferansında 26 Ekim Cumartesi günü yaptığı kapanış konuşmasıdır.

Challenging patriarchy and other power relations

Feminists lift their sights to capitalism, racism and militarism. Cynthia Cockburn reports from the Feminism in London conference on devising whole-istic feminist strategies of resistance.

Migration and craft: reimagining the city

Through creative social enterprise, migrant and refugee women in Britain's second largest city have found a way to celebrate diversity and speak above and beyond the 'hostile' headlines, says Emma Daker.

A feminist defence of sex workers’ rights

In the international row over decriminalizing sex work, Geetanjali Misra takes issue with the on-line petition launched by the women's human rights organisation, Equality Now. 

Women in journalism: not a trivial subject

The biggest newspapers in the United States, Britain and Europe still reserve pages of the most serious political and foreign policy analysis for older white men.

Restating Scottish feminism

Scottish feminists do not want ‘patriarchy in a skirt’ or a tartanised version of the status quo.  It is time to implement gender mainstreaming at all levels of Scottish politics.

Gender, mental health, and intersectionality

Last month a pilot project was launched to add mental health nurses to police call-outs in parts of the UK.  This step will be most effective if the scheme is sensitive to the interplay between gender and identity in mental health issues.

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