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Tracking the backlash

Growing and globalising networks of conservative and fundamentalist groups are pushing back against our sexual and reproductive rights. 50.50 investigates.

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Feminist bots vs right-wing trolls: Brazil’s gender justice movements cross new frontiers

Abortion has long been criminalised in Brazil. It is an issue that many have all but given up on – except for feminist movements.

The Backlash podcast episode 2: "you can't eat a condom"

Anti-choice activists at the United Nations argue that rural women need food, not reproductive choice. But unsafe abortions kill women.

Teen Mom Tanzania: denied sex education, then criminalised for pregnancy

Pregnant teenagers face expulsion from school, arrests, even death. The backlash against sex education in Africa is punishing our girls, and must end now.

Will reactionary delegations torpedo UN talks on rural women?

At the Commission on the Status of Women, commitments to rural women’s empowerment are under threat. Can new, progressive alliances block advances by reactionary delegations?

‘We won’t give up’: 25 years of feminist resistance to the war on women’s bodies in Poland

In 1993, the Polish government took away our right to abortion – starting a war on women’s bodies which continues to this day.

Same-sex marriage has become a political football in Italy's elections

The so-called centre-right coalition is talking tough against Italy’s LGBTQI and immigrant communities, attacking basic rights in the name of defending the “traditional family.”

The Backlash podcast episode 1: women and the far right

We talk to three women who know more about the far right than most: councillor Jolene Bunting in Northern Ireland, researcher Marilyn Mayo in the US, and Akanksha Mehta at the University of Sussex.

Evangelicals in South Africa are 'broadcasting hate masked as morality'

Christian right groups are adding to an already dangerous environment for women and LGBTQI individuals, by pushing 'family values'  but not for everyone.

Divisive populists are a “main obstacle” to women’s rights

“What populists are really afraid of is pluralism” says FEMEN activist Inna Shevchenko, who argues that democracy and feminism are interlinked.

Mexico City is an island in a sea of anti-abortion states – and the right to choose is threatened here too

Anti-choice activists are increasingly active in Mexico’s capital city, strategically targeting and “inciting fear” in women accessing services that were decriminalised a decade ago. Español, RU

Has Trump’s White House ‘resurrected’ Army of God anti-abortion extremists?

Christian extremism as a motivator for violence is often overlooked, while clinics providing abortion services are facing growing threats.

Prosecuting ISIS crimes against women and LGBTIQ people would set a crucial precedent

A potentially precedent-setting petition at the International Criminal Court could help human rights advocates and survivors of gender-based crimes in conflict.

Why are women joining far-right movements, and why are we so surprised?

Women’s ‘shocking’ participation in far-right politics has received much media attention. But is this a new trend, or have we been here before?

Where are the investigative journalists challenging patriarchy?

Amid growing threats to our sexual and reproductive rights, and enduring inequality, discrimination and gender-based violence, we need fearless feminist investigative journalism now. Apply for 50.50's inaugural feminist investigative journalism fellowships.

Solicita una beca de periodismo de investigación feminista de la sección 50.50 de openDemocracy

Necesitamos tu ayuda para rastrear la reacción contra los derechos sexuales y reproductivos. Solicita las becas inaugurales de periodismo de investigación feminista de 50.50. English

Apply for a 50.50 feminist investigative journalism fellowship

We need your help to track the backlash against sexual and reproductive rights. Apply for 50.50's inaugural feminist investigative journalism fellowships.

The story of a feminist victory against fundamentalists and gender segregation in UK schools

In 2017 the Court of Appeal ruled that gender segregation in schools is indeed discriminatory. This landmark judgement has potentially far-reaching consequences for minority women and girls.

Northern Ireland needs alternative visions of progressive, LGBTQ-inclusive peace

Many schools, workplaces, churches, and streets remain arenas of homophobic and transphobic discrimination and prejudice. Can there be peace without equality?

How UK anti-abortion activists use American tactics to shock and shame women

50 years after the 1967 Abortion Act, the anti-abortion movement is consolidating – with transatlantic support.

“Our strategy is visibility”: the fight for LGBT rights in Romania

Violence and anti-LGBT hate crime is on the rise in Romania, says activist Vlad Viski. But he and his colleagues refuse to stay silent.

How Romania became a battleground in the transatlantic backlash against LGBT rights

Romania decriminalised homosexuality in 2001. Today it is witnessing a backlash against LGBT rights, supported by US Christian conservatives.

Christian ‘legal army’ in hundreds of court battles worldwide

Women’s rights advocates say controversial US legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom is ‘exporting extreme ideologies worldwide’ against sexual and reproductive rights.

Northern Ireland police must stop intimidating equality activists

The force can't claim to be progressive whilst cracking down on those protesting hateful conservatism and oppressive, misogynistic laws.

I'm a trans teenager in Northern Ireland, where bigotry is taught at school

While LGBTQ+ rights groups are deemed “inappropriate” for educational environments, abusive and anti-choice activists are currently welcomed with open arms.

Tracking the backlash: why we're investigating the 'anti-rights' opposition

Growing and globalising networks of conservative and fundamentalist groups are pushing back against our sexual and reproductive rights. Help us investigate.

How anti-abortion extremists are exploiting #BlackLivesMatter to vilify African-American women

Fighting anti-choice campaigns requires more than a gendered approach – reproductive justice demands direct anti-racist work too.

El 'avión del odio', y el auge de CitizenGo

La plataforma derechista ha coordinado peticiones masivas, combinando acciones on-line y off-line. Su alcance está creciendo, alarmando a los activistas por los derechos humanos. English

On the warpath: the young women leading Ireland’s campaign against abortion

Next year Ireland will hold a referendum on its controversial eighth amendment. Articulate, millennial “pro-life feminists” are leading the charge against reproductive rights.

"They are coming for your children" – the rise of CitizenGo

The right-wing campaigning platform has coordinated mass online petitions – and offline actions. Its reach is growing, alarming human rights advocates. Español

How Charlie Gard became a cause célèbre for the US Christian right

“Charlie’s Army never sleeps”: the case of British child Charlie Gard and the growing power and global reach of American conservative activists and “pro-family” organisers.

Abortire in Italia: come l'obiezione di coscienza è diventata una minaccia per i diritti e la salute delle donne

Quasi 40 anni dopo la legalizzazione dell'aborto – tra proteste e movimenti di liberazione culturale – le donne faticano ancora ad accedere ai servizi essenziali. Read this article in English.

Abortion in Italy: how widespread 'conscientious objection' threatens women’s health and rights

Almost 40 years after abortion was legalised – amid mass protests and a broader cultural liberation movement – women still struggle to access crucial services. Leggi questo articolo in italiano.

Re-branding hate?: ultra-conservative organising under a "family-friendly" banner

Diverse groups are joining international “pro-family” alliances. Their common cause? To block and roll back feminist and sexual rights gains.

"This is a war": Inside the global "pro-family" movement against abortion and LGBT rights

At a recent summit in Budapest, anti-abortion celebrities and anti-gay rights activists gathered with their political allies waging a ‘spiritual war’ for the ‘traditional family.’

How do we fight anti-rights fundamentalism at the United Nations?

An extract from the first report of a new initiative tracks how fundamentalist groups have embraced the UN as a site to foster conservative social change.

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