only search openDemocracy.net

"Of all the many women around the world organising this week for '16 Days', some will be focusing on violence in everyday life, while others will be focusing on violence in war. They are two sides of a single coin"

Cynthia Cockburn

From November 25 to December 10 thousands of organisations and activists across the world join together for 16 Days Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, From peace in the home to peace in the world: challenging militarism and ending violence against women.

openDemocracy 50.50 brings you alternative coverage: an array of articles, testimony, poetry and short stories exploring the continuum of violence which is a violation of human rights.

View 50.50's past coverage of the campaign.

Follow Nobel Women's Initiative's coverage of the 2012 campaign.

State complicity in the sexual abuse of women in Cairo

There is a growing belief that the post-revolution spate of sexual attacks on women is a reflection of a large-scale and co-ordinated campaign from Egypt's security forces, seeking to undermine or intimidate the political opposition.  Zoe Holman spoke to the founder of anti-harassment network Imprint

The gender politics of funding women human rights defenders

Lack of funding for women’s rights is a form of gender-based violence which is so pervasive that it goes largely unnoticed. Alice Welbourn says it is critical for us to hold governments and the UN to account for gender equitable budgeting.

Zimbabwe: speaking from where I feel safe

Many women in Zimbabwe face war in their homes daily and face war with the state when we try to overcome it. Often we find ourselves in combat when all we are actually trying to do is to crawl out of our own small room, says Betty Makoni.

Silencing women's rights activists in Turkey

Leading Turkish women’s rights activist and lawyer Canan Arin was unlawfully detained on 23 June 2012 for speaking out against child marriages. While her trial continues, she is living under permanent threat, but refuses to be silent. Bingul Durbas spoke to her.

"They have killed Sizakele”

A poem by Jessica Horn. Part of a series of poems by African feminist writers for 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.

Mother of Mohamed and Maria, Daughters of Mrs Baheya (Egypt)

A poem by Marwa Sharafeldin. Part of a series of poems by African feminist writers for 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.


أم محمد و مارية بنات الست بهية

A poem by Marwa Sharafeldin. Part of a series of poems by African feminist writers for 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.

He Bullies

A poem by Virginia Phiri. Part of a series of poems by African feminist writers for 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.

The mind of the traffickers

Consumer campaigns, self-help methodology and those who risk their lives to defend others cannot match the power of the trafficking industry. Jennifer Allsopp, reporting on the Trust Women conference, looks for the core strategic thread that would take seriously the question of where power, and hence obligation lies.

Kenya: the women who stand to be counted

Women in Kenya's second largest slum, Korogocho, face forced evictions, domestic violence and rape as a weapon of gang war on a daily basis. Naomi Vulenywa reflects upon her experience of living in the slum as a women human rights defender.

Your Mother’s First Kiss

A poem by Warsan Shire.  Part of a series of poems by African feminist writers for 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.

When nowhere is safe

No woman, no matter what her immigration status, should have to choose between violence in her country and violence in Britain, says Anna Musgrave

The value of a woman's life

We need to make sure that we do not take the blame for the violence that is visited upon us. We need to develop a sense of self that cannot be eroded, a sense of self that is rounded and whole. It is what saves a woman in the final analysis.

Against coerced sterilisation: a resounding victory in Namibia

Are autonomous feminist movements more important for tackling violence against women than the wealth of a country and the levels of female representation in government? Nell Osborne examines the transformative power of women's movements.

The Circumcision

A story by Fatin Abbas. Part of a series of of poems and short stories by African feminist writers for 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.

Men: time to stand up

For too long the absence of men and boys, as well as the missing component of youth ingenuity and passion, has been an impediment to lasting progress in achieving gender equality and the prevention of violence against women and girls, says Jimmie Briggs.

Forced marriage to rapists: the death of Amina El Filali

For years, human rights and women's organizations have been demanding reform of Article 475 of the Moroccan Penal Code which allows rapists to escape punishment if they marry their victim. It is time to break the wall of silence about these archaic customs.

موت أمينة الفيلالي: قصة الزواج من مغتصب

لعدة سنوات ’ طالبت منضمات حقوقية و جمعيات نسائية لتعديل المادة 475 من القانون الجنائي المغربي الذي يعفي المغتصب من العقاب عند زواجه من الضحية. حان الوقت لتغيير هذا القانون الغير المنصف للمرأة و كسر جدار الصمت حول أعراف أصبحت من ضرب الماضي

Global mechanism, regional solution: ending forced sterilisation

For the first time in south-east Asia, an HIV-positive women's group in Indonesia is using the CEDAW Shadow Report to challenge the forced sterilisation and violence against positive women

Who is to blame? Street sexual harassment in Yemen

We need an unambiguous law which punish harassers and not the victims, says Ghaidaa Al-Absi.

على من يقع اللوم ؟ التحرش الجنسي في شوارع اليمن

نحن بحاجة إلى قانون غير مبهم وواضح لمعاقبة المتحرشين لا لمعاقبة الضحايا" غيداء العبسي

Today she is not here

A poem from Gabeba Baderoon. Part of a series of poems by African feminist writers for 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. 

What kind of feminism does war provoke?

The to-ing and fro-ing about ‘women’s peaceful natures’ is no more than an excitable bubble of argument out of touch with facts on the ground. Antiwar feminism is a pretty holistic feminism that is forged in the crucible of war.

India: breaking the supply chain of human beings

There are more than one million prostituted girls in India. "Only when the buyers of sex are arrested will the brothels close down; and only when the brothels are closed will we be safe,” Uma Das, speaking to Hillary Clinton in India

16 Days: from demystification to denunciation

Violence against women is a public plague no one can live with and early and forced marriage remains the main challenge in Cameroon. The road ahead is a long one but with the force of women’s activism we can get there, says Aîssa Ngatansou Doumara.

16 jours: de la démystification à la dénonciation

La violence faite aux femmes est une épidémie que nous ne pouvons pas accepter. Le mariage précoce et forcé reste le principal défi au Cameroun et la route sera longue, mais avec la force de l’activisme des femmes nous pouvons y arriver, dit Aîssa Ngatansou Doumara.

Human Luggage: lives of neo-bondage and servitude

New immigration rules in the UK enforce the power of abusive employers over migrant domestic workers. It is a lack of respect for human dignity that will tear apart the fabric of our society, not migration, says Jenny Moss

No more 'machismo': domestic violence in the political arena

Domestic violence in Spain can’t be blamed on ‘machismo’ argues Liz Cooper. When the statistics show Spain is just like other countries, Spanish feminists argue that it's time to get beyond the stereotype of a macho culture and see violence against women as a political issue. 

A Revolutionary woman

A poem by Marwa Sharafeldin. Part of a series of poems by African feminist writers for 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.

Land, loss and longing: women and equalities in the north of Israel Palestine

Expropriation of their land by the Israeli state is an ongoing injustice for its resident Palestinians. Cynthia Cockburn recalls the 'politics of land' in an alliance forged between Israeli Jewish and Israeli Palestinian women between 1983 and 2008.

GenderForce: why didn't we do this before?

"As an 18 year old woman I wanted to join what I saw as the coolest and toughest force - not the Air Force, not the Navy, but the Army. I was the first woman to join, and arrived full of ideas of what life would be like as a woman in the army. Things were not as I had imagined at all...."

South Kordofan: activism, resilience and sacrifice

Sudanese women's rights organisations that fled South Kordofan last year are rebuilding their networks, and women like Jalila Khamis Kuku are detained for speaking out about the atrocities committed against the Nuba people. They need our attention and support, says Amel Gorani

Sexual violence in Indian cities

A Gallup poll finding that women in Rwanda and Bangladesh felt safer on the streets than women in the UK and Sweden needs to be treated with great caution. There is no correlation between 'feeling safe' and the objective reality of whether women are actually safe or not, says Rahila Gupta.

France and the veil – the dark side of the law

French anti-veil laws are steeped in racism and have opened the door to abuse against Muslims, argues Valeria Costa-Kostritsky .

The Minister and Me

A poem by Isabella Matambanadzo. Part of a series of poems by African feminist writers for 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.

Syndicate content