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Sea change for gender equity in Canada: great smoke, how much fire?

Justin Trudeau has pledged to open a national inquiry into the staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls. What are the prospects for broader gender equity in Canadian society? - free thinking for the world

Sea change for gender equity in Canada: great smoke, how much fire?

Justin Trudeau has pledged to open a national inquiry into the staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls. What are the prospects for broader gender equity in Canadian society? - free thinking for the world

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Ali Smith's Public Library: civic space and intimacy

The 'serious playfulness' of Ali Smith's most recent collection is underpinned by reverence for civic space and the written word. The two come together in the form of public libraries...

Elona Kastrati: fame, feminism, and sanitary pads

Nineteen-year-old Elona Kastrati became internet-famous overnight, after she hung sanitary pads covered in feminist statements in a German city centre on International Women’s Day. Then she moved to her parents’ homeland – Kosovo.

The aid crisis for Syrian refugees

As the war is prolonged, families are exhausting their savings. Without a massive re-thinking of how aid is delivered and distributed, refugees in the region are going to look for ways to leave.

Ghana: women at war in a country at peace

The absence of war does not necessarily imply peace for women. The binary opposites of war and peace obscure the continuum of violence women experience as a result of patriarchal gender structures.

Women cyclists are dying, why are we still talking about their clothes?

Cycling deaths are gendered and women's cycling needs must taken into account by planners and campaigners.

Sea change for gender equity in Canada: great smoke, how much fire?

Justin Trudeau has pledged to open a national inquiry into the staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls. What are the prospects for broader gender equity in Canadian society?  

Can fashion’s commitment to feminism ever be more than lip service?

Feminists have long critiqued the fashion industry, which has often responded by – at best – co-opting feminism as a ‘brand’ in order to sell products. Can the two ever genuinely engage with each other?

Time for Kosovo's media to stand up for gender equality

For a country of 1.7 million people, Kosovo has a large and vibrant media landscape. All too often, however, the media fails to treat women with humanity and respect.

UN resolution 2242: gender, generation, and counter terrorism

Key issues that remain unresolved within the Women, Peace, and Security agenda include: the nature of gender, the advisability of including counter terrorism efforts, and generational gaps within the movement.

The Hillary Doctrine: untangling sex and American foreign policy

Twenty years ago Hillary Clinton declared that "human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights." What would Clinton as US president mean for women and security?   

Women, peace and security: the UN's rhetoric-reality gap

UN Security Council resolution 2242 passed with overwhelming support. but effective implementation was immediately called into question when the Russian Ambassador then spoke out against the resolution’s key provisions.

Counting violence against women

Treating acts of fatal male violence as 'isolated incidents' both downplays the frequency with which women are murdered by men, and ignores the underlying dynamics of patriarchy.

The end of China’s one child policy: the right to reproduce and the right to live well

China's one-child policy fundamentally changed the most intimate aspects of Chinese lives. It's removal last month may have been more welcome if structural forces did not remain that continue to stifle the ability of individuals and families to build lives of their own choosing.

The EU and its neighbours: enforcing the politics of inhospitality

Today marks the start of the two-day Valletta Euro-African summit on migration in Malta, but the outcomes of deterrence, surveillance and militarisation are already written. 

Narendra Modi, gender violence, and the Hindu Right's agenda

India is facing a relentless nightmare of violence against minorities, Dalits and those who dissent from the agenda of the Hindu Right. Gender violence is central to this agenda.

UN calls for women’s engagement in countering violent extremism: but at what cost?

Women are already on the frontlines of violent extremism. Engaging with them is not about instrumentalizing them but about building and recognizing their agency.

Moving beyond political paralysis in Northern Ireland

With Stormont in crisis, it's time to bring everyone to the table and re-work the Good Friday Agreement. This must be the last engineered 'crisis' to threaten the peace process.

Life with a dissident in China: searching for ‘horizontal freedom’

The role of women in house churches in China reminds us of both the social malleability of religion and the complexity of female agency.

Oscar Pistorius: shooting to kill

Can a white man be morally absolved if it is decided that he meant to shoot an ‘imaginary black intruder’ rather than his girlfriend? Apartheid and patriarchy underpin Pistorius' trial.

South Africa: white fear, black anger and student protests

Student protests across South Africa have heralded a new generation of political activists. ‘Born free’ into democracy, they are frustrated at the slow pace of transformation in higher education.

Mitrovica’s symbol: reconciliation amidst inevitability, history, and violence in Kosovo

Mitrovica’s bridge as ‘symbol’ helps obscure the forces of elite manipulation and institutions of power in constructing Balkan nationalisms, and falsely presents inter-communal tensions in Kosovo as inevitable. 

The promise of gender parity: Turkey’s People’s Democratic Party (HDP)

The Turkish HDP's egalitarian gender ideology played a key role in the election of a record number of women to parliament in June's election. Can these gains be sustained in the political turmoil ahead? 

Men and Lads: Playboy nods to the cultural revolution

Lad mag circulations have been diving and several have closed. The debate about sexual objectification of women isn’t just a joust between men and women, it is an argument between men.

Has Ukraine's 'Revolution of Dignity' left women behind?

Ukraine’s Euromaidan revolution called for dignity and justice, but almost two years later gender equality is not a priority on the Ukrainian political agenda – not even for female lawmakers.

Preventing violent extremism: a noose that is both too tight and too loose

The British government's programme to counter violent extremism hands religious fundamentalists the gift of a narrative of victimhood, narrowing the political space for secular feminists and others to challenge fundamentalism.

Kosovo's 'real men'

The Be a Man project by the Kosovan NGO Peer Educators Network uses workshops and art to provide young Kosovans with an alternative understanding of masculinity.

Fierce Attachments: feminist memoir and female relationships

The re-issue of Vivian Gornick’s memoir ‘Fierce Attachments’ highlights the rich tradition in feminist writing of taking the complexities of female relationships seriously.

Spain's traditional parties: past their sell by date?

This week's TV debate between the young leaders of the new parties made clear that a fresh political scenario is being thrashed out between the left and the right, the past and the future.

Ireland: policing domestic violence in times of austerity

The difficulties presented by the under-resourced Gardaí in policing domestic violence, and the resulting lamentable status of domestic violence policies in Ireland were highlighted by last week's tragedy. 

Defending ourselves: defining the rights of girls

Exploited in the media, sanctioned by the state, and controlled by religious fundamentalism, decisions about the bodies of young women and girls seem to be everyone's business but their own.

Lifting the ban on women’s shelters in Iraq: promoting change in conflict

There is a crisis-level need for shelter in Iraq, so why does the Iraqi government maintain a policy that stymies critically needed temporary housing and threatens the safety of those willing to provide it?

On the frontline: women building peace

Gender is a matter of international peace and security. The anniversary of SCR 1325 provides a platform to reclaim the actions and power of women to shape global peace and security in new ways.

Implementing Resolution 1325: the role of National Action Plans

Much has been gained by the women who secured SCR 1325. Seven resolutions on, these resolutions and their intent now sit firmly within global policy on peace and security.

Missed opportunities: gender and the UN's peacebuilding reports

The Open Debate this week on the 15th anniversary of SCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security is the UN's chance to answer the key question: why has implementation been so half-hearted? 

Girls speaking truth to power at the UN: the global 2030 Agenda

"Invest in adolescents. We’re not only the future, we’re the present, and we deserve to be happy."  Twelve year old Stephanie  Mendez Asturias, from Guatemala, speaking at the UN ahead of International Day of the Girl Child.

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