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50.50 Highlights 2014

50.50 Podcasts

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The world's girls: no voice, no rights

How can we address the global threat to women's rights with no space for girls’ - or even women’s - voices at the UN? How will we design a post-2015 framework that responds to the needs of the most marginalized?

Trapped: women fleeing violence in the UK

The raft of cuts affecting the women's sector, and election promises made by Labour and the Conservatives not to increase public spending, represent the biggest threat to domestic violence services and to women’s lives.

The cuts hit home: austerity in Oxford

Across the UK different services are bearing the brunt of cuts in different areas. In Oxfordshire, the county which encompasses the Prime Minister's constituency, domestic violence and homelessness services are facing a staggering 38% cut in funding. 

Women in prison: the cycle of violence

Most women in prison in Britain have experienced sexual or domestic violence, yet the system fails to address their needs and further victimises them. For some, it is the end of the road.

Responding to sexual abuse in the UK: class, race and culture

The failure of police to take seriously the young victims of sexual abuse in Rotherham who reported the crime, reveals the way in which who is and isn't taken seriously ties in with who is and isn't deemed worthless in Britain.

The Handmaid's Tale of El Salvador

Poverty, misogyny, and Christian fundamentalism in El Salvador lie behind the prison sentences of up to forty years handed down to seventeen women who were arrested for the crime of abortion, but sentenced for murder.

Why the G20 needs to tackle gender inequality: Brisbane and beyond

The G20 should listen to Oxfam and assess its agenda and actions based on how they support the fulfilment of women’s human rights and lead to gender equality. This is not a question of adding yet another issue to the G20 agenda.

G20: the union movement's fight for gender equality in the labour market

Women are more reliant on decent labour law, minimum wages and conditions, and labour market protections. Yet these minimum protections are continually under attack, and the reach of these safeguards against exploitation is declining.

G20: can women's human rights and economic growth co-exist?

Will the G20 adopt an approach that meets human rights standards for economic growth at the Brisbane Summit? More representation of women at the governance level is essential. Who is at the table matters.

State racism and sexism in post-war Sri Lanka

Central to the resurgence of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism in post-war Sri Lanka is a redefinition of gender role and identities. Familial ideology is a key pillar of this discourse with serious adverse implications for women and gender equality

Gender at the G20

If the G20 is serious about 'sustainable and balanced growth' as the 'premier forum for international economic cooperation', it needs to demonstrate its serious intent towards matters of gender equality at the G20 Leaders' Summit in Brisbane this weekend.

The human costs of 'fast-fashion': the power to change is in your hands

A living wage is a human right, and it is crucial that consumers are fully aware of the power in their hands. We’ll be on the right track only when we will see a £5 dress as a red flag, and not as a bargain.

Power and solidarity at the grassroots

In an age of professionalization, both of politicians and of activists, the journey of self-taught politicization of the Focus E15 mothers is a remarkable one – and an example of genuine, grass-roots politics in Britain. 

Redecorate, repopulate: what next for the E15 mums?

A group of young mothers have petitioned local government and occupied abandoned homes in Newham, London, calling for ‘social housing not social cleansing’. Here they discuss the growing movement to combat the housing crisis and prevent evictions.

Human trafficking: from outrage to action

If we are to have any chance of addressing trafficking, we should work towards the elimination of labour recruitment fees; advocate for a global minimum wage; and look at ways of criminalizing the knowing or reckless use of the services of a victim of trafficking.

Breaking the gridlock of climate change negotiations: learning from allies

An empowered civil society is itself an enforcement mechanism of human rights, transforming the human rights system from a legalistic framework into a powerful tool for social change. The climate justice movement is well placed to make use of this tool, and women are well positioned to lead.

Climate and Indigenous Peoples: the real dispute at the UN

With both the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Climate Summit underway at the UN, far more important than official declarations will be who is allowed to speak and to be heard. Whose voice matters in this clash of worldviews.

Whose recovery?: Gendered austerity in the UK

The impact of government spending cuts, combined with structural sexism in the UK, means that for British women, news of an economic recovery means nothing to their daily lives.

Bio-insecurity and HIV/AIDS

Science and global funding of HIV prevention is seen as an investment in biosecurity, but unless prevention and treatment take place within the context of the local bio-insecurity of the poor woman and her family the AIDS epidemic can not be fully stemmed, argue Ida Susser and Zena Stein

Gender and poverty in the UK: Inside the household and across the life course

Unravelling the components of couples’ incomes and investigating individual trajectories over the life course are essential to produce a more rounded and complete picture of the links between gender and poverty, says Fran Bennett. 

Unpaid care: the missing women’s rights issue

Unsupported and unshared care work perpetuates women’s poverty, political marginalization and social subordination. The distribution of care is not natural or inevitable, but rather socially constructed and in our power to change, says Kate Donald

What's a woman worth?: wages and democracy in Cambodia

In demanding higher wages, Cambodian women are refusing the status of the proverbial “second-class (global) citizen,” undervalued and over-determined by gender discrimination. If men take over the frontline of the movement, they will de facto doom its greatest potential in raising wages, along with women’s status and worth. Read in French, Spanish.

Neoliberal neopatriarchy: the case for gender revolution

We are living in a distinctive moment when neoliberal capitalism and neopatriarchy converge. Male dominance is no mere footnote to this new historic settlement. It is central. And feminism is decisive in the resistance.

US Republicans and their “Female Troubles”

As the 2014 midterm elections loom on the horizon, American Republicans fear they may lose a sizable female vote because they have spent the last eight years vilifying women and voting against their major concerns.

Women in Sierra Leone: Resisting dispossession

Women are losing their land and livelihoods in the face of land grabs, discriminatory traditions and customs, and the lack of a strong legal framework. Mariama Tarawallie report on the fight back by women mobilising at grassroots to claim their land rights in Sierra Leone

Misogyny in the Greek parliament and media: a problem no-one wants to deal with

Chauvinism and corruption work in tandem to stifle public life in Greece.  The disparaging and dismissive treatment of female politicians points to a wider malaise. 

Ending the stark choice: domestic violence or destitution in the UK

The introduction of the Destitution Domestic Violence concession in 2012 giving some migrant victims access to public funds was widely welcomed. However, while many have long waits for benefits, others still do not have a safety net to escape violence.  

Austerity and domestic violence: mapping the damage

Austerity has taken its toll on domestic violence provisions, in a fracturing that cuts across institutions, sectors and lives in the UK

Who are the ‘illegals’?

The UK Immigration Bill has no clear targets: it gives ordinary individuals the power to decide. Will we use an accurate legal definition, or act on what we read in the papers and hear from the Home Secretary herself? Asks Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi

Is gendered austerity finally on the political agenda?

The 2013 Green Party conference made women and austerity one of its themes, while a new report from the Women’s Budget Group calls for a ‘Plan F’ to tackle the impact of the crisis on women's lives.  Is gendered austerity finally gaining the attention of political parties?

Creating a safe haven in the intersection of state racism and structural patriarchy

The UK Feminista’s summer school heard how female asylum seekers fight back against the intersecting injustices they face.

Poverty: a human rights abuse in the UK

Internationally poverty has been recognised as a violation of human dignity and, when a consequence of government policy, a violation of human rights. What does this mean for women seeking asylum who are forced into poverty in the UK, asks Amanda Gray.

Iraq: gendering authoritarianism

Women in Iraq bear the brunt of increasing levels of gender-based violence, inadequate infrastructure and poverty. Yet women activists recognize that their struggle for equality and social justice as women cannot be separated from the wider struggle against authoritarianism and sectarianism

Pan-Africanism: beyond survival to renaissance?

Addressing the African Union 50th Anniversary Heads of States Summit, Amina Mama challenged the gathering to redefine the terms of Africa's insertion in the global economy, and raised critical questions regarding the lived realities of ordinary people and the central contribution of women to Africa's continued survival.

Women of Senegal: agents of peace

The physical and moral suffering undergone by the valiant people of Casamance is incalculable and, as usual, it is the women and children who pay the highest price. From their position as victims, women have decided to become committed agents of peace, says Ndeye Marie Thiam.

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