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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.


Christian right and some UK feminists ‘unlikely allies’ against trans rights

New analysis shows that groups that traditionally disagree are now on the same side – against reforming the Gender Recognition Act.

‘Gay cake’ cases show strength of Christian right legal armies on both sides of the Atlantic

In UK and US supreme courts, freedom of speech has been the defence of bakers who oppose same-sex marriage. It’s no coincidence.

Romanians didn’t show up to an anti-LGBT referendum. But the battle for equality continues

A vote to make legalising equal marriage even harder was defeated this weekend. It’s a victory for progressive politics, but the fight isn’t over.

'Sexual liberation, socialist style': an overlooked women's rights story?

New research by Kateřina Lišková places eastern bloc countries at forefront of twentieth century push for gender equality.

US and Russian religious right unite against ‘invasion of radical liberalism’

Anti-abortion and anti-LGBTIQ rights activists, politicians, and religious leaders met in Moldova this month for the World Congress of Families.

‘Feminism is cancer’: the angry backlash against our reporting on the men’s rights movement

50.50's recent dispatch on this movement received hundreds of comments and messages on social media. We read them so you don’t have to.

The Backlash podcast episode 4: the men's rights movement

50.50 attended an international gathering of men's rights activists in London and spoke to some of the men, and women, involved in this movement.

Argentina abortion vote divides the nation, from senators to doctors

The senate votes this week on a potentially groundbreaking bill to legalise voluntary abortion. Opponents include some doctors and health facilities.

US evangelicals targeted LGBT young people with ‘dehumanising’ Facebook and YouTube ads

Social media giants acknowledge that Anchored North video ads violated their rules to protect users – but not before millions of people see them.

This ultra-conservative institute has infiltrated the Polish state, on a relentless quest to ban abortion

Ordo luris is an extreme anti-choice group whose founders were ‘inspired’ by a controversial Catholic fundamentalist network. How has it gained so much political power?

Why is the US government meeting LGBT 'hate groups' and dangling money in front of them?

Anti-abortion and anti-LGBT 'extremists' attended a high-level summit on religious freedom this week, where government officials explained how to access US funding. 

“Young men should be furious”: inside the world’s largest gathering of men’s rights activists

50.50 spent a (fairly) fact-free weekend among anti-feminists at the International Conference on Men’s Issues, in London.

How ‘conscientious objectors’ threaten women’s newly-won abortion rights in Latin America

From Uruguay to Chile, medical staff are refusing to provide abortion services even after their legalisation. Español

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

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