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50.50 Highlights 2014

50.50 Podcasts

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Our Africa - women's critical analysis and resistanceWhile policy frameworks lay out a broad-brush vision for equality, justice and prosperity in the African region, OUR AFRICA engages the detail. With its ear to the ground, the platform profiles fresh thinking, critical analysis and activist initiatives by African women in response to the many forces shaping Africa’s present and future


Remembering, contesting and forgetting: the aftermath of the Cairo massacres

The Egyptian Government’s anti-terrorism measures in the wake of the Rab'aa mosque massacre continue to colour people’s daily lives with the suppressed trauma and memory of these events.

Ebola: exposing the failure of international development

The Ebola crisis has revealed the consequences of deep-seated, unequal global social and economic relations that international development, as practised in recent decades, has had a role in creating.

Report thy neighbour: policing Sisi’s Egypt

A regime bereft of legitimacy, save for its promise to guarantee national security, turns citizens into active players in a new culture of surveillance and reporting.

Are we all beheaded Copts?: outrage in Libya

Is the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians by ISIS in Libya associated with a broader political project of cleansing the region of religious minorities? Would this not deserve demonstrations of solidarity?

Rest in power, Assia Djebar

Why is it that the homeland always rejects its most erudite children? Latefa Guemar pays tribute to the feminist writer remembered for her intellectual honesty and unflinching stance against Algerian patriarchy, even from beyond its borders.

Gendered paradoxes of Egypt’s transition

Four years after the downfall of Mubarak, women face a new patriarchal bargain: abandoning all forms of independent organizing in return for protection of their rights.

Article 11: feminists negotiating power in Egypt

Faced with unequal power relations at the negotiating table and authoritarian consolidation, a member of the 50-committee explores how feminist voices achieved leverage when drafting the 2014 Egyptian Constitution to include article 11. 

Egypt: a reality too dark in which to glimpse hope?

The last known message from the Egyptian activist Zainab Mahdy reads, " It's like we're digging in water...There is no justice…I am aware of that…there is no victory coming…we are just lying to ourselves so that we can live."

Reeva Steenkamp: justice?

At the core of a global pandemic of violence against women rage two defining features of patriarchy: male privilege and male violence. Ché Ramsden argues that we must dig deeper to dismantle the culture(s) which make it acceptable to hate women.

Oscar Pistorius: the South African story

The two versions of Oscar Pistorius presented by the state and the defence fit into a wider narrative of South African patriarchy, and not the other way around; solutions must therefore come from beyond the Pistorius trial.

Avoidable injustices: the way to prevent violence against women

We want to end violence against women, but is it really preventable? New research from Uganda adds scientific muscle to the political argument that we can, if we transform the gender power relations that sustain it.

Confronting Ebola in Liberia: the gendered realities

In Liberia 75% of those who have been infected or killed from Ebola are women. Last month, a rapid assessment and gender analysis of the outbreak concluded that a gendered perspective on prevention, care, and post admission care is imperative.

Secularism at risk in Sub-Saharan secular states: the challenges for Senegal and Mali

Secularism is being challenged in several Sub-Saharan African states which have long guarded it as a principle of governance. Its preservation is important for the protection of women's citizen rights from religious interventions. In French.

La laïcité à l’épreuve dans les États laïques d’Afrique au Sud du Sahara : Les défis pour le Sénégal et le Mali

La laïcité est mise à l’épreuve dans plusieurs États d’Afrique subsaharienne qui l’ont gardé comme principe de gouvernance. Or sa préservation est importante pour les femmes, car elle permet de protéger leurs droits citoyens de toute intervention religieuse qui n’a jamais été aussi conservatrice et liée à la ‘droitisation’ complice du politique.

The UN should not let Sudan get away with murder

When the UN Human Rights Council meets this week to discuss the human rights situation in Sudan, will member states condemn the targeted attacks on civilians and mass forced displacement caused by Sudanese forces? Or will they keep sending a strong signal that Sudan can, and will, continue to get away with murder?

"What can a woman do?" Gender norms in a Nigerian university

Are universities necessarily transformative spaces for women students? Research at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, raises critical questions around how conservative gender norms are replicated by young students, in particular in the burgeoning culture of religious student organisations.

Compromise with political Islam is impossible

On the 20th anniversary of the fundamentalist assassination of Algerian educator Salah Chouaki, Karima Bennoune translates his warning - so relevant today - about the need to be uncompromising in the battle against the very ideology that motivated his murder.

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? Ché Ramsden explores the dark depths of colonial and apartheid consciousness and its intersection with patriarchy in the Pistorius trial. 

The power of stories: raising the profile of African women’s cultural production

"I’m concerned about the fact that we download a lot about ourselves yet upload very little into mainstream media, no matter which media we are talking about”, Sandra Mbanefo Obiago, Nigerian filmmaker and writer, speaks to Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah about her passion for all forms of creativity.

Litigating for equality in South Africa: Muslim marriages

While South Africa’s legal provisions around equality are some of the best in the world, do they adequately protect women in Muslim marriages? Hoodah Abrahams-Fayker reflects on the case law and feminist legal activism.

Opposing political Islam: Mohamed Brahmi's widow speaks out

On the first anniversary of Mohamed Brahmi’s assassination, his widow, Mbarka Brahmi, denounces fundamentalism and terrorism in Tunisia.  She urges Tunisians not to support the Ennahdha party, and appeals for peace.

HIV, homophobia and historical regression: where next for Uganda?

President Yoweri Museveni was once globally admired for mobilising an HIV response in Uganda founded upon compassion and shared responsibility. So what happened? We need to look back in time in order to comprehend the devastating scale of Uganda’s backslide in HIV prevention, care and support

Uganda: the social impact of HIV criminal law

Criminalisation of HIV is unjust, unwise, undermines existing government efforts and is especially damaging to women’s rights, argues Hajjarah Nagadya

HIV disclosure: changing ourselves, changing others

When will policy makers, politicians and academics start to think upstream, in order to change their own and their employees’ attitudes towards HIV before seeking to change the attitudes of others?

Speaking the ‘unspeakable’ through film in Zimbabwe

From socially conscious film-making to challenging the invisibility of women in the industry, pioneering Zimbabwean filmmaker and writer Tsitsi Dangarembga speaks with Beti Ellerson about her film activism.

Desolation and despair in Libya: the murder of Salwa Bugaighis

Looking back, it feels as if Salwa Bugaighis embodied not the hopes and aspirations of the majority of her country's people but a dream of revolution, shared by a minority of educated Libyans and nurtured by western journalists and democracy activists, says Lindsey Hilsum

Is that what we fought for? Gaddafi's legacy for Libyan women

Women played a largely unreported role in last year’s revolution in Libya. Now they have to fight both Islamist and secular men if they’re to have any influence in the new Libya, says Lindsey Hilsum.

The return of tamed opposition in Egypt

Egypt's opposition parties are being co-opted or contained. In the foreseeable future, the most effective opposition to the regime will most probably take place outside elected institutions and by actors different from political parties, says Rawia M.Tawfik Amer

Lampedusa: Never again

The terrible migrant deaths off the Italian island have evoked horror across the continent. In a small camp in France, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi talks to their fellow countrymen and women who have survived: their hopes, dreams, and learning to feel unwelcome in Europe.

Refugee women in the UK: Pushing a stone into the sea

From personal experience I know that arrival in the UK for asylum seekers does not signal safety, but reform is a ‘chaser game’: refugee women are pressuring the Home Office to improve decision making and end detention, says Beatrice Botomani.

Rape, marriage, and rights

While the proliferation of domestic violence legislation worldwide is a positive and much-needed development, the explicit criminalisation of marital rape needs to be central to these legal reform initiatives - ensuring that women’s rights are fully protected. Even within marriage.

What we owe Nigeria’s kidnapped schoolgirls

People worldwide are calling for action to bring back the kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria. But concern for the girls demands that we think carefully about the harmful consequences of proposed solutions – especially those calling for US military intervention.

Women's voices in northern Nigeria: hearing the broader narratives

As the world's attention focuses on northern Nigeria with the abduction of schoolgirls from Chibok, Fatimah Kelleher explores the importance of understanding the voices and agency of northern Nigerian women's own activism for change.

African feminist engagements with film

African feminist filmmakers and theorists reflect on the shifting roles of women working at all levels of the film and media industries on the continent, and the task of making films that challenge the existing fictions that misrepresent and distort women's realities.

Meriam’s courage: facing death by hanging

Meriam Ibrahim Yahya is incarcerated and shackled in Sudan's Omdurman Women’s Prison. Her twenty month old child and her new born baby are with her. Charged with apostasy earlier this month, she faces flogging and then death by hanging.

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