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Reclaim The Night

In 2008 openDemocracy’s 5050 initiative covered the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence from 25 November to 10 December, exploring issues of gender equality and empowerment on a global scale, with contributions from women and men around the world.

This followed openDemocracy's 2007 coverage of the 16 days against gender violence campaign. The coverage included articles and podcasts and a dedicated blog on our front page. Guest blogger Zohra Moosa of the Fawcett Society led the dialogue. Themes addressed included: security masculinities and the state, rape and impunity, healthy bodies, coercion and control, and women as trade. All articles and podcasts related to the 2007-8 coverage are listed below.

Our 16 Days coverage was made possible by the generosity of Alec Reed.

View complete list of 16 Days of activism against gender violence coverage.

A message from Lebanon

Zoya Rouhana writes from Beirut:

Dear friends,

Women in the Arab countries have been desperately striving to achieve gender equality and overcome the results of hundreds of years of oppression. However, this struggle is rendered obsolete in the face of the escalating violence that some countries have been witnessing, particularly Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon.

A message for World Aids Day

The criminal prosecution of people with HIV is accelerating insidiously around the world. This article charts developments since Alice Welbourn's openDemocracy report on this ‘war on women' for International Women's Day 2008.

Reclaim the Night - Win the Day

A photo-essay by Nick Eastlake

The wind whistles, dogs howl. This might all be in your head but when you’re heading out on a windswept autumn evening it does not take much to get you scared. Especially if you see a shadow in the opposite entrance of the park you need to cross to get to your tube station. Still, lurking, male.

Spot the Danger

'Deviant victims' and 'deficient men'

Dr Azza Baydoun has analysed every ‘honour killing' in Lebanon that has gone before the courts since 1999 and found that behind the plea of offended honour lies the crime of femicide. She describes the patriarchal concepts of ‘deviant women' and ‘deficient men' in her research. Here she outlines some of her findings.

This article is part of 50.50's coverage of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence from 25 November to 10 December 2008

The changing face of war

1. "The bad news"

My lightening visit to the Wilton Park conference on "Women Targeted by Armed Conflict: What Role for Military Peacekeepers?" last Wednesday was a real eye-opener.

The dark side of micro-credit

Bangladesh's pioneering micro-finance revolution is also helping to fuel the twin abuses of dowry and domestic violence. Santi Rozario investigates

Educating for women's rights in Turkey

Provided with the necessary knowledge and awareness, every woman has the capacity to help stop violence against women. Evre Kaynak of Turkey's Human Rights Education Programme says participatory projects are the key to success.

Empowering women in the middle east

Hibaaq Osman on dignity and violence in the middle east. Plus: blogging 16 days

Working for women's rights in Jordan

Afaf Jabiri talks about taking on the Jordanian government over women's rights. Plus: blogging 16 days

India's silent tragedy

A shockingly high maternal mortality rate reveals government inaction on halting preventable deaths. Jameen Kaur asks, where is the delivery of rights for India's "invisible women"?

India's most famous monument, the Taj Mahal, is recognised the world over. Built by Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in 1631 in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, it represents a particular poignancy, as Mumtaz Mahal died giving birth.

Women and conflict

In May 2007 I attended the First International Conference of the Nobel Women's Initiative (NWI) Women Redefining Peace in the Middle East and Beyond as a rapporteur. Women from more than 40 different countries came together to discuss and exchange strategies to improve women's conditions.

A war that can be won


The UN's John Holmes on confronting sexual violence worldwide
Plus: blogging 16 days

War and sexual violence: an issue of security

The organised abuse of women is not a by-product of many conflicts but is becoming a core military tactic. A vital United Nations Security Council resolution acknowledges this, but much more needs to be done to ensure that it is used to prevent women's suffering and to engage them in resolving conflict, say Anne Marie Goetz & Joanne Sandler.

Thinking positive

It is only by listening to those most affected, that we can bring about real change. Ahead of World Aids Day, Luisa Orza and Jennifer Gatsi Mallet report on a groundbreaking project bringing together parliamentarians and HIV positive women in Namibia.

"She was probably glad of the attention": tackling rape in the UK

The debate about how and why rape happens goes to the heart of cultural gender and power dynamics, writes Sarah Campbell

Iran’s women: listen now!

The courageous voices of the women of Iran's One Million Signatures campaign demand to be heard. Roja Bandari tells their story.

The UK's modern slavery shame

Women's exploitation lies at the heart of a modern-day underclass that keeps the machinery of civilised Britain well-oiled, writes Rahila Gupta.

The preventable pandemic: one woman's story

Faustina Fynn Nyame talks about returning to her native Ghana to campaign for womens' right to safe abortion.  Plus: blogging 16 days

African women and domestic violence

The experience of using law to address the issue of domestic violence in Africa contains both positive and negative lessons for gender-equality campaigners, says Takyiwaa Manuh.
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