Iraq's female citizens: prisoners of war

Iraqi woman human rights defender Yanar Mohammed spoke to Jennifer Allsopp at the Nobel Women’s Initiative conference about grass-roots responses to the atrocities women are facing under ISIS.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world
Yanar leading a women's rally in Baghdad's Firdos Square. Photo: Roj Women's Association.

Iraq's female citizens: prisoners of war

Iraqi woman human rights defender Yanar Mohammed spoke to Jennifer Allsopp at the Nobel Women’s Initiative conference about grass-roots responses to the atrocities women are facing under ISIS.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world
Yanar leading a women's rally in Baghdad's Firdos Square. Photo: Roj Women's Association.

This week's editor

Heather McRobie

Heather McRobie is an editor at 5050.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Crocodile tears: tragedy and responsibility in the Mediterranean

The European Council says that the situation in the Mediterranean is a tragedy. Its statement may display some sympathy, but an acknowledgement of responsibility is nowhere to be seen.

Speaking truth to power at the UN

"This may be the last time our voice is heard here…" excerpt from the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Statement to the UN‘s Conference on Disarmament. WILPF's centeranry conference opens today in the Hague.

No, the SNP won't be able to 'hold the country to ransom'

As the British press parrots Tory fearmongering about a Labour government supported by the SNP, few have noted how little power Nicola Sturgeon will actually have.

Scotland’s growing influence on UK foreign policy

Kirsty Hughes talks to Scottish National Party and Scottish Green politicians on foreign policy, the EU and the tectonic shift in Scottish politics.

The struggle for nonhuman rights

The Nonhuman Rights Project argues that certain animals should be legal persons. In the world of rights, what divides persons and things?  EspañolFrançais

My Beeb: a precarious memoir

Working at the BBC is no guarantee of a career in journalism. An ex-employee recounts their journey from the news desk to claiming unemployment benefits. 

Migrant “cockroaches” and the need to tame tabloid hate

The moment for action is now, in the election run-up, but current regulation of the British press offers no prospect of fast-tracking urgent and serious complaints. 

The crisis of national and religious identity in Afghanistan today

On the anniversary of Afghanistan’s Communist Party coup d’état, how Afghani modernization had to deal with a series of “others” like British colonialism, Soviet communism, or US capitalism, hindering development of a strong national identity.  

Women’s power to stop war: rereading Virginia Woolf

Three Guineas was published in 1938 but it remains startlingly relevant. War will not end while women are kept out of power and while power is governed on the historic terms that men established.

Mourning the Mediterranean dead and locking up survivors

Although the EU, US and others have demonstrated a willingness to intervene militarily in Libya or Syria, a willingness to take responsibility for the consequences is woefully lacking. 

Which British party is making the most meaningful commitment to women's issues?

As the British election approaches, political parties are trading in the discourse of ‘women’s issues’. But do any of the parties actually meaningfully address women’s rights and needs?

Sexual surveillance and moral quarantines: a history of anti-trafficking

The US government is using anti-human trafficking laws to intensify the surveillance and criminalisation of migrating women and harden the national security state—as it has since 1875.

Living with smartness

Will new technologies turn people into passive human beings?

How land rights are politicising Cambodia's women

Land grabbing and forced evictions have created an activist movement among women who traditionally conform to strict gender roles.

Whose city? Evicting communities in London

This video tells the story of a family facing eviction from London’s Sweets Way estate. Yet another community has been destroyed for profit.

What’s happening with devolution?

What genuine changes have been secured for local democracy across the UK in recent months? Is devolution creating powerhouses or poor houses?

Security is not just CCTV: valuing ourselves is security

It feels as if the entire world has been given over to the most perverse notions of 'safety'  that are really about death and destruction, cruelty and conflict, grandiosity and greed. Marion Bowman reports from the Nobel Women’s Initiative conference in the Netherlands.

Iraq's female citizens: prisoners of war

Iraqi woman human rights defender Yanar Mohammed spoke to Jennifer Allsopp at the Nobel Women’s Initiative conference about grass-roots responses to the atrocities women are facing under ISIS.

Iran behind the conciliatory veil

Right-wing US and Israeli venom against the outline agreement is one thing; genuine concern about the Islamic regime’s Shia expansionism and human-rights record is however another.

The Arab World: towards bi-polarity?

Maged Mandour

In Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Bahrain, it will be very difficult for revolutionary democratic movements to succeed in such a bi-polar order.

The British syndrome: an abdication of responsibility

There are glaring absences at the heart of the UK elections contest. The new preface to his ‘Essay on Britain, now’ - by one of Britain’s leading political thinkers tells us why. Remarkably, it suggests ways in which to free ourselves from the trap we are in.

Sabeen Mahmud: “I stand up for what I believe in, but I can’t fight guns”

Sabeen Mahmud alleviated intellectual poverty until the day she was murdered, 24 April 2015. In an interview with Karima Bennoune in 2010 Mahmud explained why she founded a politico-cultural space in Karachi.

After the recent tragedy in the Med, why can’t we talk about free migration?

Who can imagine a democratic energy system, food sovereignty or anything resembling a fair trade system while people are blocked by arbitrary borders and quantified in terms of economic benefit?

It’s not all about Islam: misreading secular politics in the Middle East

Western policymakers once understood the dynamics of secular politics in the Middle East, but this knowledge has been subsumed under a fixation on Islam’s supposed threat to western security interests.

Women human rights defenders: reigniting the embers

The profile of today’s front line activist is different to that of the freedom fighter of old. We need to see her in her wholeness. Jennifer Allsopp reports from the Nobel Women’s Initiative conference in the Netherlands.

Mairead Maguire: breaking the silence on Palestine

Palestinian women human rights defenders and peace makers, in resisting the injustices being perpetrated upon their people, deserve our support and we must each do what we can to break the silence.

A tribute to Joan Kagezi: the murder of a human rights defender

Joan Kagezi was a lead prosecutor in high profile cases in Uganda, including against a former LRA commander and those accused of terrorism. She was shot dead in front of her children last month.

Always historicize!

The proper way for radicals to conceive of their activism is in terms of the speeding up of current historical trends, not their interruption or reversal.

A very European coup

This is why Syriza's negotiating strategy has to play to the European gallery and not just to the suits in the conference room. The aim is to persuade people to put pressure on their own governments or change them in the coming elections.

Who is your phone talking to?

“The Secret Life of your Mobile Phone” is a stage show dedicated to probing how smartphones leak private information. Why are our phones so sneaky?