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Without global solidarity the women’s movement will collapse

Borders are closing across the world, blocking women from the Global South both from seeking refuge, having a voice and working on global gender justice. - free thinking for the world

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oD 50.50 Editorial highlights 2016

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Bosnia's error of othering

Bosnia is saddled with a peace settlement for a constitution, and that is getting in the way of building a functioning state

Is gender a universal category? The double edged sword of identity politics.

Jameen Kaur reports on the three day conference on ‘Women Deepening Democracy: Transforming Gender Equality. From Groucho Marx to a Revolution Fund – and beyond.

Deepening democracy by building gender equality

The conference on 'Women deepening democracy' held in New Delhi last week examined what can be done to tackle the gender-specific double standard encoded into the DNA of political liberalism

Stress, quarrels and neglect: the 'normal' polygamous family

A large-scale study currently underway across Malaysia uncovers proof that polygamy harms everyone involved: from emotionally scarred children, to wives who think they’d be better off as single-parent households, and even husbands who admit “I wouldn’t recommend it for my son; it’s quite stressful.”

Peace process in Mindanao

How does conflict transformation work? Peace advisers have a particular range of skills which must be adapted and applied to circumstances that are always unique. But even where local, national and international ngo’s are involved, the transformation has to be brought about by the people themselves

Beyond stalemate: replacing the vicious with the virtuous circle

What is conflict transformation? How do you begin to approach the mutual hurt of conflict embedded in systems and culture? There are many strands to a challenging and delicate process. Here are some of them

The challenge of moving from war to peace

One of the challenges in this set of unseen and unsung practices is how to make it visible and strengthen its advocacy without destroying its impact. Conflict transformation work not only deserves but needs a wider audience

Nuanced agency in local-international peacebuilding:

In attempting to secure nonviolent transformation as a bottom-up mechanism, ‘uncomfortable voices’ may be ignored in favour of those more palatable to the peacebuilders. This is at the least a missed opportunity

A Welcome to Diana Francis’ reflections: Conflict Transformed

This new generation missed out on the US civil rights movement, where nonviolent direct action was employed brilliantly and strategically in the service of change. Now it’s time for all of us to respond to the ultimate challenge of how warfare dominates our discourse

Last but not least: CEDAW and family law

When injustice in marriage and the family is such a pervasive experience for women and girls, why is family law largely invisible as a global policy issue? What are the prospects for last to no longer remain least?

What will it take to realise our vision of a just and equal world?

After thirty years of CEDAW, gender equality is at a vital juncture. How can we progress towards a just and equal world through such tumultuous times? Emily Esplen calls for a radical democratisation of political spaces, and the fashioning of new, inclusive alliances for justice

Making human rights for women a reality

There has been a critical shift from CEDAW being an aspirational international document, to its gender equality standards becoming entrenched in national constitutions, laws and policies around the world. Lee Waldorf reflects on how and why this has happened.

NVDA lessons: for Copenhagen from Seattle

Seattle was a turning point for the developing nations, an exemplar of how major concessions can be won.
 But to bring the spirit of Seattle to Copenhagen, polar bear ice sculptures alone won’t cut it.

The wedding dress with attitude

Malians do a good line in combining fashion and public relations for the causes they care about. Fatoumata and Moussa didn’t just decide to get married under Mali’s new family code, they got married in it – literally

The human cost of war

Diana Francis finds in an exhibition of quilts and arpilleras made by women from Ireland to Chile, a rallying call to say no to violence, public and private, on any scale; to work for the abolition of war and to transform the culture of violence in which women are objectified and subjugated.

Domestic violence is not a private family matter

In the pioneering ruling Opuz v Turkey, the European Court of Human Rights recognized for the first time that domestic violence is a form of discrimination against women, and that states are required to eliminate and remedy it. The case also recognized that domestic violence is not a “private family matter” but that it is in the public interest to ensure state protection from it.

An unfortunate accident: violence in Ahmadinejad’s Iran

In the wake of the contested Iranian election, Ahmadinejad's regime is seeking to silence political dissent through coercion and arbitrary imprisonment - where men as well as women are vulnerable to rape and torture. Women's organizations have actively campaigned against such violence, but analysis of post-election violence must not look at abuse of women in isolation. Instead, it must highlight the way that difference – whether it be political opinion, religion, sexuality, or gender – is being persecuted in Ahmadinejad's Iran.

The power of storytelling

Zainab Magdy describes her journey as a young feminist writer in a storytelling workshop in Cairo. “Many people ask me about these storytelling evenings and I tell them very seriously about "patriarchal society" which is killing the person inside each and every man and woman slowly. They don’t usually appreciate it. A few sentences can never tell the story of the woman who remains in a marriage because her husband threatens to keep her children as far away from her as possible. But maybe a story will.

Jack in a Box

He liked playing with the Jack in a Box more than any other toy. It had been his favourite since childhood, and he continued to have the same passion towards it until he approached his thirties.

Owner of a Heart

Once upon a time, in a place far far away and a time that was neither happy nor glorious in a small town, there was a man who knew the secrets of the earth and plants and who used to heal the hearts of young girls...

Meeri Piribis: carrying the torch of hope

“No more will we let the army decide, the insurgents decide, or the patriarchal structures of our societies that control our lives and our movements. We will act and lead on our needs and our priorities, not theirs”. Jameen Kaur talks to Binalakshmi Nepram Mentschel about her work to end decades of violence in Manipur

When things fall apart

Alice Welbourn charts her own personal experiences of what she learnt about HIV, about herself and about others during her early years of living with her diagnosis. She reflects on how traumatic experiences can also be ones of growth and self-knowledge – and how HIV has much to teach us all.

Not all hybrid structures are created equal: Some thoughts on bottom-up peacebuilding

Afghanistan has long experience of complex arrangements with local/traditional forms of governance. It is possible to see what factors work for peace-building and which do not

HIV: both the cause and the consequence of violence against women

In the UK the number of women living with HIV has been steadily growing since the beginning of the epidemic. Newly diagnosed women were only twenty percent of the new infections in 1996, but over forty percent in 2007. There are now more than 25,000 HIV positive women in the UK, but while government policy fails to address the link between HIV and violence against women, it is left to under-funded and under-staffed support groups to campaign for the human rights of women living with HIV.

The challenges for women of HIV and gender violence

The hinterland of acknowledging and dealing with the links between gender violence and HIV/AIDS is mostly unexplored and unmapped. Neither the British government's strategy on gender violence nor that on sexual health deal with the link between gender violence and HIV/Aids. This serious policy gap leaves the issue orphaned and suffering the same status as women struggling with the complex interplay of violence, illness, and taboo.

Nameless, Genderless: The Meena Bazaar Women

What prevents politicians from discussing national security issues and violence against women in the same sentence? Why do politicians continue to treat gender as a stand-alone issue?

Resist-Reclaim-Restore: Militarism No More

Reflecting on the human and financial costs of militarism in terms of the prospects for democracy, sustainable living and peace presents a bleak picture, argues Kavita Ramdas. It is against this background that the real worth of the Nobel Women's Initiative shines through.
Reflecting on the human and financial costs of militarism in terms of the prospects for democracy, sustainable living and peace presents a bleak picture, argues Kavita Ramdas. It is against this background that the real worth of the Nobel Women's Initiative shines through.

There is no honour in ‘honour killing’

Islam is more tolerant of male-female relationships than some would have us believe. The issue of ‘honour killing’ is not one of dishonour and immorality, but of disobedience and control. At the end of the day, one has to say what is right is right, and what is wrong is wrong. Honour killings are heinous crimes and are against anything and everything that is holy in this life.

“We have failed. We have nothing to celebrate”

There is a growing wave of unrest among young women at the failure of governments to recognise and implement reproductive rights as a human right for all.

Conflict Transformed? The start of a debate

In the first article of her series, Diana Francis reviews the aspirations and achievements of conflict transformers over the past twenty years, and argues that the only realistic response to the global phenomenon of war is to develop ‘nonviolence’ as a just and effective way forward.

When the global is local: UN Security Council Resolutions on sexual violence are for all of us

Joining the Reclaim the Night march in London last weekend, Vanessa Alexander asks how can we advocate for the adoption of UN resolutions for peace and security for women in war time, when women world wide do not yet experience peace and security in peace time?

Violence against women in the UK: a map of gaps

The shift of funding from central to local authorities has led to the loss of essential services and misinterpretation of Equality legislation is further discriminating against women fleeing violence.

Why do Americans love Sarah Palin?

Why does America take Palin seriously? The answer lies in gender politics, and in the history of right-wing populism. That populism is at its strongest at a time of social anxiety.

Fotokids – Out of the Dump

How an organisation that attempts to bring young people in Guatemala out of poverty by providing training in the visual arts began life, and why it is still spreading into the most dangerous areas.

Ugandan gays and Muslim women:a common struggle to redefine family

What have gay rights activists in Christian-majority Uganda and Muslim women fighting for family law reform in Asia got in common? You’d be surprised…
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