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oD 50.50 Editorial highlights 2016

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Sexual violence

Conflict in Syria: stop instrumentalising women’s rights

The international community is not listening to us. It must depoliticise the fight against sexual violence and humanise the countering violent extremism strategy.

No Women’s Day without refugee women

Hand-in-hand with Trump, Theresa May is not merely playing to an anti-migrant populist crowd but helped to create it. This system is working as intended, but it must be disrupted.

Escaping domestic violence: ‘according to the law, you are not here’

Many women survivors of violence in Europe cannot access support services because of their migration status. The right to live free from violence should be based on presence in a territory not legal status.  

The Indian judiciary are paper tigers

In the final of a three-part series dealing with the law on domestic violence in India, we focus on the failures of a patriarchal judiciary to protect women adequately in cases of domestic violence. 

Is the Indian law on domestic violence fit for purpose?

In the first of this three part series, we examine the effectiveness of one of the major planks of the domestic violence law in India: the post of Protection Officers.

Seeking justice for rape by the state in Bastar, India

For tribal women living in the Bastar region of central India, sexual abuse at the hands of security forces has become routine. The state government has now been challenged to take responsibility.

The Italian mafia and violence against women

In the name of “culture” and “honour” young girls born into the ‘ndrangheta mafia in Calabria lose their sense of identity. Those who seek freedom pay a terrible price.  

Men's intrusion: rethinking street harassment

To capture the impact of ‘street harassment’ on women’s sense of self, we may need to rethink our language to better fit the lived experience.

Since I gave you a phone it’s not rape

As evidence of UN peacekeepers’ sexual violence against Black African women and girls grows, media reporting and research reinterprets this as ‘transactional sex’, through the logic of colonialism.

Transforming a victim blaming culture

Media discussions of male violence against women focus on the actions of the victim rather than the perpetrator. How can we challenge this narrative using survivor’s testimony without putting them at risk of online harassment?

The fraught road to justice: Sri Lankan victims of sexual violence

As more women testify about their experience of sexual violence in Sri Lanka the path to redress does not become smoother. What stands in the way of a just response to these wrongs?

A life of hope lived in defiance of violence: Rebecca Masika Katsuva

“They think when they’re raped that their lives are shattered. But we’d like them to know that it’s not the end of the world" - Rebecca Masika Katsuva. (1966 - 2016)

 

Justice and accountability for war related sexual violence in Sri Lanka

As the testimonies of survivors of sexual violence in Sri Lanka’s long war enter the public domain and the government designs transitional justice mechanisms, is an end to impunity in sight?

Why the backlash against dowry laws in India?

The backlash against gender-just law which seeks to protect women against dowry violence reveals the full extent of the patriarchal mindset that underpins the criminal justice system in India.

Piece of Silk: "When story-telling is a matter of life and death"

The play, Piece of Silk, is a powerful study of the experiences of women survivors of domestic abuse - an experience that knows no ethnic, national or class boundaries. 

Sexual violence and the culture of impunity in Nagaland

Perpetrators of sexual violence escape justice, while their victims are trapped between exhortations by women's advocacy groups not to ‘suffer quietly' and the social stigma attached to sexual violence.

Yazidi women after slavery: trauma

Mental health care and support services are in short supply for the traumatized women who have escaped from ISIS slavery to the camps around Dohuk, exacerbating their long term trauma.

UN CSW: ending impunity for gender-based crimes against women refugees

The CSW has called on UN member states to "address sexual and gender-based violence as an integral and prioritized part of every humanitarian response". Civil society groups expected more.

Rape testimony: pitting truths against rape culture

Women of the World (WOW) created a public, cultural space where women’s stories of survival and their manner of telling them expanded their particular narratives into the universal and political.

Millions rising to stop male violence

Annual Million Women Rise marches, started in 2007 by Sabrina Qureshi, give a platform and visibility to women worldwide at the forefront of experiencing, and combatting, violence against women and children.

Taboo, transgression, transformation: child abuse and the politics of acceptability

The fear of online paedophiles may be obscuring some deeper drivers of child abuse, as well as the potential offered by the web to prevent harm.

Guilty: what the Sepur Zarco trial means for women’s rights worldwide

Survivors of wartime sexual violence in Guatemala have secured a landmark victory in the Sepur Zarco trial: a win for international human rights in a domestic court.

The global pulse of young feminists organising

Young feminists are organising across movements in an intersectional way, locally, nationally and regionally, and they are using artivism and technology as core tools in their work. 

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. 

Child sexual abuse: failing another generation of children?

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner reveals that in England 1.3 million will suffer sexual abuse in their childhood. What’s it going to do about this most secret of crimes?

The Day You Catch the Fish: speaking out on domestic abuse

Violence is manifested in so many ways, yet it is always the violence that comes within the domestic space that leaves many women silenced, especially when the violence leaves no physical scars.

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.

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? 

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?

Lifting the ban on women’s shelters in Iraq: promoting change in conflict

There is a crisis-level need for shelter in Iraq, so why does the Iraqi government maintain a policy that stymies critically needed temporary housing and threatens the safety of those willing to provide it?

Girls speaking truth to power at the UN: the global 2030 Agenda

"Invest in adolescents. We’re not only the future, we’re the present, and we deserve to be happy."  Twelve year old Stephanie  Mendez Asturias, from Guatemala, speaking at the UN ahead of International Day of the Girl Child.

The politics of human rights and the United Nations

The one simple yet unanswered question in the United Nations versus Anders Kompass affair is - why? Is it because he did not accept the politicisation of human rights ?

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. 

'Disappearing' sex workers in the Amnesty International debate

An Amnesty draft policy to protect women in sex work has attracted a fierce debate, but sex workers' voices are often absent in the opposition arguments.

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.

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