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Contesting patriarchy

Documenting women’s lives: mothers' names on marriage certificates

In England and Wales in the twenty-first century we continue to perpetuate a system that writes women out of our collective history, and we are all poorer for it.

Why doesn’t patriarchy die?

The prevailing common sense that things can only get better, that men and women are equal – virtually – is confronted by the vigour of patriarchal divisions of labour and sexism in popular culture. 

Mapping women's resistance to social and ecological degradation

Women coming together to cross pollinate ideas and build understanding about differing burdens, responsibilities, and solutions is an essential part of worldwide efforts to restore the health of the planet.

The UN: are development and peace empty words?

As governments adopt the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, their roles in producing and selling weapons that undermine development, peace and security are coming under scrutiny.

The refugee crisis: demilitarising masculinities

Photos emerging from the borders of Europe weave a new narrative around what it means to be vulnerable, to be a man, to say no to war and to be a refugee.

India's wandering women with cameras

The feminist documentary film festival in Mumbai, ‘Wandering Women’, opens up questions of how gender identity in Indian contexts can be explored through film.

Friendship and violence: the genius of Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante’s novels have become a word of mouth success, despite the Italian literary world’s snobbery, because they capture the complex inner world of female friendships and women’s experiences.

Jeremy Corbyn and the myth of the hysterical woman

It is an indictment of the status quo that policies which will benefit women and people of colour are being dismissed as lacking credibility from those inside and outside of the Labour Party.

Manic Pixies and Cool Girls: on female solidarity and the male gaze

Pop culture tropes of ‘the girl who isn’t like other girls’ might seem subversive but they reinforce old sexist ideas that women are frivolous and exist for the male gaze.

Feminism is for all: exposing gendered limitations of the Albanian male

Hegemonic masculinity enforces a half-reality, obscuring women’s perspectives. Yet the irony is that dismantling these gender norms would liberate Albanian men as well as women.

The VICE guide to good intentions?

VICE’s new women’s interest website Broadly offers VICE a chance to shake off its reputation for the ‘hipster misogyny’ of Terry Richardson and ‘female writer suicide’ fashion shoots. Here’s hoping they take it.

Unlimited parental leave: progress or PR coup?

The new Netflix employee perk doesn't stand up to scrutiny, but softens their brand.

Can Russia confront the horrors of its domestic violence epidemic?

With the murder of a pregnant woman and her six children, Russia’s domestic violence epidemic again briefly surfaces into headlines.  Perhaps one day these victims too can have their public monument. 

Women's working lives in the ‘new’ university

Is there room for any women other than the "exceptional woman", let alone women with children, in the new hyper-stratified university?

Jack the Ripper, 'interesting history', and masculine violence

The opening of a Jack the Ripper Museum was not only insulting in how it seemed to glorify the murder of women – it was a disservice to all of us interested in local history and inclusive explorations of our past.

Doing gender justice in northern Uganda

The efforts of NGOs and international organisations to gradually nudge post-war northern Uganda towards a ‘gender just society’ ignore the fact that gender equality also has real enemies.

Pragna Patel: a politics of hope and not hate

"At the heart of my work is the idea that human beings are to be intrinsically valued, that we can all co-exist through mutual respect and rights."  - Pragna Patel

Towards Plan F: planning for a feminist economy in the UK

Feminists must reject mainstream austerity rhetoric and challenge politicians to adopt an alternative 'Plan F' to bring about equality between women and men on the basis of a caring and sustainable economy.

Blood brides: feminist activists cracking China’s patriarchal order

With echoes of Russia's Pussy Riot, the arrest of five young women on the eve of International Women’s Day drew attention to the feminist activist movements simmering below the surface in China.

Sick and tired: Sri Lankan domestic workers fight back against violence

As protesters demand justice for domestic workers after a brutal assault, isn't it time we all became sick and tired of violence and exploitation hidden away from the public sphere in the home?

Why are so many Syrian children being left stateless?

Syrian women advocates recognize the links between the crisis of statelessness and the lack of reproductive justice for women, and argue that control over their own fertility and legal status is paramount.

Game of trolls: on pop culture and the public voice of women

Women who write online receive far more personal attacks than their male counterparts.  When women are driven out of public conversations on pop culture, it harms all of us.

Abortion in Chile: addressing the false debate of "pro-life vs pro-death"

Chile is one of only four countries in the world that prohibits all abortion, but for the first time in 25 years a law on therapeutic abortion is being seriously considered.

Hope's song: my companion in life's journey

On my way from Zimbabwe to Amsterdam I shared a seat with a man called Musi. He was curious about how I became a feminist and wondered if I was not borrowing western ideology...

The masculinisation of complexity

You would think a peace movement would be the least patriarchal of all social movements but you can masculinise anything. Feminist understanding challenges what it really takes to make peace.

World disarmament? Start by disarming masculinity

Massive world military spending is driven by the profit motive of the arms industry and politicians’ weaponized notion of ‘security’. But women peace activists also hold militarized masculinity to account.

There are more of us who want peace than want the killing to continue

The ‘utopian’ slur against peacemakers is defeatist propaganda for pro-war, pro-militarisation and securitisation interests and the military-industrial complex. Marion Bowman reports from WILPF's Centenary Conference in the Hague.

A new narrative on human rights, security and prosperity

It’s up to us to ‘reframe the narrative’ of development, to move beyond the historic thrust of capital and war and to say no impunity for the murder of Indigenous women. Jennifer Allsopp reports from WILPF's Centenary Conference in the Hague.

The pacifist dilemma: women peacemakers’ responses to Islamic State

Can non-violent strategies defeat the new fascism of Islamic State and its allies? Women peace makers’ hopes and doubts recall the rift in the peace movement when Nazism threatened Europe.

The feminist parties redefining Scandinavian politics

Sweden’s Feminist Initiative party is reshaping politics in the country – and beyond 

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 centenary conference opens today in the Hague.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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