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Still no country for women? Double standards in choosing the next UN Secretary-General

Six of the twelve candidates for the job of UN Secretary-General are women, but in the first informal vote at the Security Council only one woman made it to the top five. Why ?

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oD 50.50 Editorial highlights 2015

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Self-immolation and asylum in Australia: ‘This is how tired we are’

The slow violence inflicted upon the 28,621 individuals seeking refuge in Australia waiting on bridging visas to hear whether they can remain, can be seen as a form of state sanctioned “letting die.” 

Ending HIV: ideology vs evidence at the UN

This week’s negotiations over the UN’s Political Declaration Ending AIDS are rife with circular debates, and sex, gender and sexuality are flashpoints of polarization. 

Hotspot stories from Europe's border

A response to testimony from an unaccompanied minor whose long journey culminated in a perilous boat journey, the author discusses Europe’s failure to address the rights of those it renders precarious.

Lampedusa: red letter days

'The journey to make my life easier has actually been the most difficult experience I have ever faced in my life'. An unaccompanied minor recounts his journey to safety in Europe.

Transnational marriage abandonment: A new form of violence against women?

Transnational marriage abandonment lies at the intersect of immigration and patriarchal control, allowing abusers and states to enjoy impunity for violations committed against women in transnational spaces.

Spain, seriously?

As elections in Spain loom for the second time since October, the slogan of the caretaker government of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) “España en serio”  gets more surreal every day.

Women beedi rollers and necrocapitalism in Sri Lanka

Women in one village in the Jaffna district of northern Sri Lanka have been rolling beedi with their bare hands for over fifty years in a gendered survival economy. This is no accident.

Choosing the next UN Secretary-General: real change ahead?

For the first time in the UN’s history, the global public is having the chance to hear about the individual agendas and the visions of all the nominees for next UN Secretary-General.

Idomeni: a devil’s game

The most important and most asked question in Idomeni is, what is the West waiting for? Your agreement with Turkey does not handle our cause. The Europeans are using us to scare other refugees away.

Georgian migrant mothers: never to return home?

Older women migrants are locked into perpetual domestic work in New York, endlessly deferring retirement and returning home because their adult children in Georgia depend on their remittances.

Rojava revolution: on the hoof

Rojava is a fast moving, dynamic place where things change by the minute. What are the material conditions which support this woman-centred revolution ? Part 5 of 50.50's series  Witnessing the revolution in Rojava, northern Syria.

The Fast Track is dead

The systematic detention of asylum seekers in the UK has reached the end of the track.  The Home Office needs to let go, and invest the savings in a fast, high quality asylum process.  

The back way to Europe: Gambia’s forgotten refugees

The distinction between a refugee and other irregular migrants coming from the Gambia is hard to maintain in a country where a lack of democracy is accompanied by failures of economic and political governance. 

From colonials to corporates: maternal mortality in Assam’s tea gardens

For the women employed in the tea gardens of Assam, pregnancy is a life-threatening ordeal. An interactive exhibition records the struggle of Adivasi mothers across the decades for better conditions.  

The Palestinian Museum: imperilled objects and unsafe ideas

Palestine’s first National Museum opens today in the West Bank - a “cultural mothership” drawing together pieces from a scattered and censored Palestinian history.

Poland: a total ban on abortion?

With unprecedented political momentum for a total ban on abortion in Poland, thousands are marching in protest and the Prime Minister is receiving coat hangers in the post.

 

China’s “leftover women” and the left-out system

Can a skin brand “change your destiny” in a socially empowering way? A video titled ‘Marriage Market Takeover’ seems to have done a good job, but not without an underlying agenda. 

Education worth thinking about

The latest Green Paper in the UK on higher education puts ‘Student Choice’ as a top policy objective. But are there real choices for those who believe in “education for education’s sake”?

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.

Rojava revolution: reshaping masculinity

Rojava's battle with ISIS stronghold  Raqqa is not simply a military one, but an ideological one in which the position of women could not be more polarised. Part 4.

Doing business at the border: abuse, complicity and legality

As abuses in Australia’s detention centres become increasingly stark, there are growing calls for the boycott of a global system of inhumane, but profitable, mistreatment of refugees.

'The Devil is in the Details': development, women's rights and religious fundamentalisms

Dealing with the escalation of violence against women across the world requires a wider adoption of a feminist approach to working at the nexus of development, religious fundamentalisms and women’s rights.

Abortion in Argentina: women twice betrayed

Belén's troubling abortion case in Tucumán, Argentina, demonstrates how institutions meant to care for and protect us instead regularly violate our rights—including the right to health, confidentiality, and due process. Español

Furthering freedom of religion and belief in Muslim-majority countries

Ballot boxes before a culture of toleration for diversity of beliefs takes root in the minds of people can make things worse. Secularization and freedom of religion are a precondition of democracy.

Will Iran’s new parliament improve women’s rights?

The problem was the Guardian Council, a body which has veto authority over any legislature, which in this case rejected all 33 bills introduced by women deputies.

"To demand peace is not a crime": Turkish academics on trial

President Erdoğan's attack on academics and freedom of speech calls into question whether Turkey will ever comply with the Copenhagen Criteria which govern EU accession.  But does Turkey care?

Can porn be feminist? A conversation with Erika Lust

Feminist porn is sex on film showing women and men as sexual equals - that sex is something you do together, not just something that a man does to a woman

Rojava revolution: It’s raining women

In less than four years, the women’s umbrella organisation, Kongira Star, has set up an autonomous, grassroots, democratic structure which has resulted in shifting patriarchal mindsets and reversing gender discriminatory laws. Part 3.

Behind the murder of Berta Cáceres: corporate complicity

The corporate denial of violation of human rights in the death of Berta Cáceres reveals the web of complicities and impunity that prompted her assassination.

Our obsession with Harper Lee

It is slightly surreal to see people rush to pay tribute to Harper Lee while the very structures that made it possible for Mockingbird to be published are disappearing.

Does the caste system really not exist in Bengal?

Bengali middle class society is seen as casteless because caste violence lacks visibility. One woman’s story of working as a teacher shows how caste intersects with gender to reproduce discriminatory practices.

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.

Legumes vs. labour rights: how Indian women pay for the cost of dal

A cooking project in Asia’s biggest informal settlement brings into focus the millions of workers denied a share in the world’s seventh-largest economy.

De Pondy à Paris – le marché matrimonial de Pondicherry

Les mariages entre les  Pondicherriens qui ont pris la nationalité française en 1962 et ceux qui ont choisi de rester indiens se révèlent  être un ensemble de mariages d’intérêt qui ont lieu aujourd’hui. English

From Pondi to Paris: Pondicherry's marriage market

Marriages between Pondicherrians who took French nationality in 1962, and those who chose to remain Indian, reveals a complicated range of ‘marriages of interest’ taking place today. Français

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