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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.


How El Salvador’s evangelicals have joined the backlash against women’s reproductive rights

The changing religious landscape in this historically Catholic country has not been good news for women, who live under one of the world’s harshest anti-abortion laws. Español

How did Northern Ireland lawmakers carve out an anti-abortion ‘ghetto’ within the UK?

Northern Ireland remains a blind spot for equality for women and members of the LGBTIQ community. Will Ireland’s abortion referendum change this?

The Backlash podcast episode 3: why we need feminist investigative journalism

At the 2018 International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy, 50.50 organised a panel on feminist investigative journalism with Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, Crina Boros, and Claudia Torrisi.

MPs criticise Facebook’s “not fit for purpose” foreign ad ban as Ireland votes on abortion

British and Irish parliamentarians call for major changes to unregulated social media campaigning following openDemocracy revelations – but too late for Friday’s historic vote.

Six ways Ireland’s abortion referendum could be hacked this week

Anti-abortion money, Facebook ads and boots-on-the-ground volunteers have piled in from across the world to try and swing Friday’s historic vote. Will they succeed?

‘Nice Irish girls don’t have sex’ is the old idea at the heart of historic abortion rights battle

Even if abortion is legalised in Ireland, this mindset must be challenged if women are to fully access their reproductive rights.

Who benefits from sensationalised media coverage of abortion? Hint: not women, whose lives are at stake

Media outlets too often cover abortion-related news in inaccurate and derogatory ways. Activists and progressive journalists must work together to change this.

The right’s ‘gender ideology’ menace rolls to Africa

Spanish group CitizenGO brings anti-trans “Free Speech Bus” to Kenya, where the World Congress of Families is hosting a regional summit.

Revealed: the US ‘Christian fundamentalists’ behind new Netflix film on millennial sex lives

A new film about youth ‘hookup culture’ follows students at ‘Spring Break’ beach parties in Florida. Does it have a hidden agenda?

Listen to a recorded audio version of this article courtesy of curio.io.

How Irish anti-abortion activists are drawing on Brexit and Trump campaigns to influence referendum

Backlash against Irish abortion rights enlists some of the same technologies, companies, and individuals involved in controversial Trump and Brexit campaigns.

Young, trans Nigerians: ‘people need to see that we exist’

It may become harder for church and state to deny that trans Nigerians exist, thanks to activists like Miss saHHara.

Foreign and 'alt-right' activists target Irish voters on Facebook ahead of abortion referendum

New data shows how social media has become a battleground in a transatlantic backlash against abortion rights for Irish women.

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.

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