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oD 50.50 Editorial highlights 2015

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The Palestinian Museum: imperilled objects and unsafe ideas

Palestine’s first National Museum opens in the West Bank in May - a “cultural mothership” drawing together pieces from a scattered and censored Palestinian history.

A city aflame: India’s coal rush

While intensified coal production has helped India’s economy to grow and its great metropolises to thrive, it has left one of the most mineral-rich regions in the country up in flames - literally.

Who’s missing from Syria’s peace talks?

Those organising Syria’s peace talks must go beyond merely ticking the gender representation box. It's essential to move towards real inclusion of women peace advocates and larger civil society.

The fateful marriage: political violence and violence against women

Pervasive and diverse, instances of violence against women can only be fully comprehended in the political contexts that give them purpose and meaning.

World Courts of Women: against war, for peace

At the World Court of Women meeting held in Bangalore witnesses to violence and injustice highlighted political lessons and resistance, asking that we all take responsibility to oppose the unending wars against women.

Japan's military sexual slavery: whose agreement?

The South Korea-Japan agreement on Japan’s military sexual slavery was announced on 28 December, 2015, but it ignores the  efforts by the victim-survivors movement to seek justice for their suffering. 

Mona Eltahawy and sexual revolution in the Middle East

'Traumatised into feminism,' Mona Eltahawy speaks of her decision to unveil and understanding that 'Muslim women’s bodies are the medium upon which culture is engraved, be it through headscarves or cutting.'

Romani women of the Balkans: battling intersectional oppression

Centuries old oppression founded on gender, race, cultural group, and socio-economic class is being challenged by Romani women who are combating their public and private marginalization through initiatives embedded within the Roma identity.

Gender violence in Spain: from electoral tool to decisive issue ?

As political parties in Spain struggle to form a government this week their commitment to dealing with violence against women is being put to the test.

When does the violation of women's bodies become a "red line"?

If people divide their understanding of militarized violence into normal and not normal, acceptable and not acceptable, it makes a terrible kind of sense: violence against women has been "normalized".

On the edge of a nation, sitting on the border

Life in UK’s indefinite immigration detention regime evokes the 'barbed wire disease' experienced by 'enemy aliens' interned during the World Wars. We must learn from our past to end detention. 

The truth about Charlie: one year after the 7 January attacks

The Charlie Hebdo attack one year ago was part of a long tradition of fundamentalist assaults on artists.  Understanding this tragic event is critical to defeating Islamist terror today.

John Kerry, where are women’s voices in the Syria peace talks?

The US may be tempted to congratulate itself for wrangling Russia to the table for the meeting on Syria’s peace talks. Yet an indispensable party is missing: Syrian women.

COP21: overarching narratives, real lives

 “There are overarching narratives, and then there are people just trying to live their lives within them.” Does COP21 speak to the most vulnerable people trying to survive climate change now?

BAM! OUCH! Being a man

A festival in London allowed men to see other men outside the confines of a narrowly defined masculinity that limits their ability to navigate their emotional lives. Ironically, the event was held together by women.

A brand of manliness that is bad for the world

While women’s movements fight for empowerment, what is now destroying men is, paradoxically, the expectation to be powerful. Agnish Ray reports from London’s Being A Man festival. 

After the fast track: what next for the detention of asylum seekers?

UK courts have ruled the routine detention of asylum seekers undergoing accelerated claims to be ‘systemically unfair and unjust’. But faced with hostile politics, how much can strategic litigation deliver?

International Rights of Nature Tribunal: Pachamama vs ‘macho papas’

Parallel to COP21, the International Rights of Nature Tribunal convened in Paris. The ‘climate crimes’ it heard were deeply connected to other systemic injustices: patriarchy, racism and capitalism.

Are children sacrificed in the interests of an abusive father's right of access?

Spanish law recognises children as direct victims of gender violence, but an abusive father's right of access on visits sanctioned by the judiciary means children are being killed by their estranged fathers. In Spanish.

Welcome to our house: women living with HIV

The largest survey on women living with HIV, commissioned by the World Health Organisation, has revealed the stark truth about the gender-based violence and mental health challenges that positive women face.

Defending land and community: women on the frontlines of climate justice

Throughout Southeast Asia, hundreds of women environmental activists have been jailed, attacked and defamed as threats to "national security". They remain without adequate resources, protection and funding for their work.

UN peacekeeping: blue banner for hope, or red flag for abuse?

For decades the ‘Blue Helmets’ have been sexually exploiting and abusing those they were sent to protect. The UN is complicit in creating an environment in which these abuses can flourish unfettered. 

Politicking periods

Irish women are tweeting details of their menstrual cycles to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, to protest the sense of entitlement the Irish state demonstrates towards Irish womens' bodies.

Nepal: the struggle for equal citizenship rights for women

Nepal's new constitution was widely celebrated as progressive, but restrictions on a woman's right to pass on citizenship to her child mean that thousands of Nepali women remain second-class citizens.

16 Days: cutting Black and minority ethnic women's organisations

The EU Victims Directive comes into force this month. Will it prevent the further decimation of Black and minority ethnic organisations offering specialised services to women facing violence in the UK? 

COP21: forget 'the future', we need a more radical present

As COP21 meets, people around the world already realise the devastating impacts of climate change. Instead of acting for 'the future', we need to reimagine a better here and now.

16 Days: asset stripping the women’s sector in the UK

The quality of service in the independent women's sector is no guarantee against the future as the British government continues its assault on specialist women’s services protecting women from violence. 

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...

Violence against women in Spain: who cares?

Ahead of the election all the political parties commented on the level of violence against women, but public concern remains low. Is this the wake up call?

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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