The gender wars in Turkey: a litmus test of democracy?

The pent up fury and grief released by Özgecan Aslan’s attempted rape and gruesome murder reveal deep fault lines and simmering sources of disaffection in Turkish society.

The gender wars in Turkey: a litmus test of democracy?

The pent up fury and grief released by Özgecan Aslan’s attempted rape and gruesome murder reveal deep fault lines and simmering sources of disaffection in Turkish society.

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How we treat children in the UK: the dark side of our soul

If the Conservatives' plans to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights are implemented, the fundamental right to a fair trial would be demolished, and the duty to act in the best interest of the child may well be eroded.

UK: indifference to ending discrimination against women

More than 30 years years after the British Government signed up to the Convention to Eliminate all Forms of Discrimination against Women the CEDAW Committee responsible for monitoring its implementation has censured the UK for its poor record, and failure to mitigate the impact of austerity measures on women.

'Shariafication by stealth' in the UK

Access to justice is being denied in the UK in the shadow of neoliberalism and religious fundamentalism. Minority women are being denied the right to participate in the wider political community as citizens rather than subjects.

Northern Ireland: a transformative strategy for women, peace and security

Moving beyond the paralysing difference of opinion about whether the 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland constituted an armed conflict, women peacebuilders have produced a strategic guide which places international women, peace and security goals in a domestic framework for action.

Animals or slaves? Memories of a migrant detention centre

One man tells of his experience of being incarcerated in the UK for three years for being a migrant, and why the memories of violence and conflict in Brook House – where he attempted suicide – will never leave him.

Being Malala

Recipients of humanitarian awards often invite controversy. In Pakistan, religious and political identities are valued more than the contributions of such recipients. Malala Yousafzai may have the Nobel Peace Prize, but she remains the target of criticism from Pakistani conservatives and also many 'progressives'.

A police cell is no place for the young and vulnerable

Self-inflicted deaths in custody are at a ten-year high in the UK. Many of those who kill themselves have been locked in police cells because no alternatives are available. Campaigners welcome a new government initiative but say it needs much better funding. 

Conscientious objection: Virginia Woolf's ideas live on

In her 1938 essay Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf defined patriarchy, militarism and nationalism as sources of war. Marta Correia finds Women in Black Belgrade acting out Woolf's call to 'disobedience' today - and paying a price.

Secularism at risk in Sub-Saharan secular states: the challenges for Senegal and Mali

Secularism is being challenged in several Sub-Saharan African states which have long guarded it as a principle of governance. Its preservation is important for the protection of women's citizen rights from religious interventions. In French.

La laïcité à l’épreuve dans les États laïques d’Afrique au Sud du Sahara : Les défis pour le Sénégal et le Mali

La laïcité est mise à l’épreuve dans plusieurs États d’Afrique subsaharienne qui l’ont gardé comme principe de gouvernance. Or sa préservation est importante pour les femmes, car elle permet de protéger leurs droits citoyens de toute intervention religieuse qui n’a jamais été aussi conservatrice et liée à la ‘droitisation’ complice du politique.

Power and solidarity at the grassroots

In an age of professionalization, both of politicians and of activists, the journey of self-taught politicization of the Focus E15 mothers is a remarkable one – and an example of genuine, grass-roots politics in Britain. 

Redecorate, repopulate: what next for the E15 mums?

A group of young mothers have petitioned local government and occupied abandoned homes in Newham, London, calling for ‘social housing not social cleansing’. Here they discuss the growing movement to combat the housing crisis and prevent evictions.

Conquering fear with hope: Secularism 2014

The Secularism Conference taking place in London this weekend is a chance to hear activists who are transforming human rights. As western academics teach that secularism has had its day, many activists from the global south consider that it is vital to oppose the religious right.

Human trafficking: from outrage to action

If we are to have any chance of addressing trafficking, we should work towards the elimination of labour recruitment fees; advocate for a global minimum wage; and look at ways of criminalizing the knowing or reckless use of the services of a victim of trafficking.

Immigration detention in the media: anarchy and ambivalence

Alongside calls for the reduction or ending of immigration detention, we must demand more balanced coverage from our media. Melanie Griffiths reports on two decades of ‘riots’ and fires inside Campsfield which is on track to become one of the biggest detention centres in Europe.

The common factor: sexual violence and the Egyptian state, 2011-2014

We must conceptualise the epidemic levels of sexual violence in post-revolutionary Egypt at least partly as “state violence”, and resist the state’s attempt to selectively appropriate women’s rights. Every post-revolutionary Egyptian regime has the blood of women on its hands.

Assata Shakur: on race and racism

Tales from black revolutionaries are vital in contextualising what has come before, and how it informs the present.  Reni Eddo-Lodge reviews Assata Sahkur's autobiography and argues that her hindsight and observations are vital in a society that’s still stuck on how to live together.

Promoting the global secular alternative in the ISIS era

While many of us watch in horror as ISIS advances, and fundamentalist ideas spread across religious traditions around the world, Maryam Namazie and Marieme Hélie-Lucas - secular feminists from Iran and Algeria - told Karima Bennoune why they are convening the International Secular Conference in London.

Migrant vs non-migrant: two tier policing

Growing police engagement in immigration enforcement distorts people’s rights, fosters mistrust and does the police a huge disservice. But the blurred lines that are emerging in London's communities are just part of a more general criminalisation of migrants.

Feminism and men: time to stop making excuses

Emma Watson has launched the UN’s ‘He for She’ campaign with a fiery speech calling on men to take action against violence and discrimination against women. Nikki van der Gaag charts the growing movement of men for gender equality.

Abortion rights: victory for women in Spain

As the political analysts get into their stride over the Spanish Government's decision to back down over mediaeval reforms to the current abortion law, citing everything from conspiracy theories to a feminist victory, the Catholic Church has taken a beating and is busy churning out hate messages.

Breaking the gridlock of climate change negotiations: learning from allies

An empowered civil society is itself an enforcement mechanism of human rights, transforming the human rights system from a legalistic framework into a powerful tool for social change. The climate justice movement is well placed to make use of this tool, and women are well positioned to lead.

Your fatwa does not apply here

Karima Bennoune has won the 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction with her book Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism. She spoke to Deniz Kandiyoti last year about the path that led her to collect these stories. 

A once in a lifetime chance to protect the world's girls

Every day, we see more headlines documenting the severe rights abuses girls suffer. The primary cause of death for girls age 15-19 is now suicide. As UN leaders open the debate on the next frontier of global development, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to protect the human rights of girls.

Climate and Indigenous Peoples: the real dispute at the UN

With both the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Climate Summit underway at the UN, far more important than official declarations will be who is allowed to speak and to be heard. Whose voice matters in this clash of worldviews.

The UN should not let Sudan get away with murder

When the UN Human Rights Council meets this week to discuss the human rights situation in Sudan, will member states condemn the targeted attacks on civilians and mass forced displacement caused by Sudanese forces? Or will they keep sending a strong signal that Sudan can, and will, continue to get away with murder?

"What can a woman do?" Gender norms in a Nigerian university

Are universities necessarily transformative spaces for women students? Research at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, raises critical questions around how conservative gender norms are replicated by young students, in particular in the burgeoning culture of religious student organisations.

A fresh look: towards an Israel-Palestine two-state solution

A two-state solution is still possible in Israel and Palestine, but it will take a more aggressive strategy - one that focuses on the religious-nationalist right on both sides, and on concrete steps towards nation-building in Palestine.

Detained at the UK border: mould, cat calls and barbed wire

Key statutory instruments governing the use of detention do not apply to holding rooms at ports or short term holding facilities. Some 7,000 vulnerable individuals are held each year for up to 7 days in appalling conditions without proper regulation.  

A crisis of harm in immigration detention

A young Guinean woman has become the sixth victim in three years of ‘inhuman and degrading treatment’ in UK immigration detention, with the High Court ruling that detention explicitly caused the disintegration of her mental health.

Compromise with political Islam is impossible

On the 20th anniversary of the fundamentalist assassination of Algerian educator Salah Chouaki, Karima Bennoune translates his warning - so relevant today - about the need to be uncompromising in the battle against the very ideology that motivated his murder.

Foreign national prisoners: the fear of being forgotten

Too often for foreign national prisoners in Britain, the completion of a prison sentence is followed by a period of limbo behind a new set of bars while the state works out what to do next. Labelled 'undeserving', they are largely invisible.

Scotland either way: challenging 'patriarchy in a skirt'

Feminist grassroots activism has raised the voices of women during the Scottish referendum campaign, and to some extent forced both campaigns and the media to engage with their demands. The question now is whether this engagement can be harnessed to advance gender equality under either outcome.

Oscar Pistorius: shooting to kill

Can a white man be morally absolved if it is decided that he meant to shoot an ‘imaginary black intruder’ rather than his girlfriend? Ché Ramsden explores the dark depths of colonial and apartheid consciousness and its intersection with patriarchy in the Pistorius trial. 

From 1990s Algeria to Iraq today: trampling Islam underfoot in the name of Jihad

What is the ideology motivating alleged “warriors of God” to “trample Islam underfoot in the name of Jihad”?  Algerian anthropologist Mahfoud Bennoune explored this question in 1994, offering an analysis of the political beliefs motivating “throat-slitting emirs” still much-needed today.

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