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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. - free thinking for the world
Facebook. Photo:Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images. All rights reserved.

Girls at Dhabas: challenging issues of safety, or ‘respectability’ in urban Pakistan?

NATASHA ANSARI - free thinking for the world

“You need to understand,” I told the reporter. “These are baby steps, but important steps, for fuller participation in the public sphere.”

Feminist bots vs right-wing trolls: Brazil’s gender justice movements cross new frontiers

ANI HAO - free thinking for the world

Abortion has long been criminalised in Brazil. It is an issue that many have all but given up on – except for feminist movements.

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Sterilisation: the fight for bodily integrity

Accessing justice has been a long process for the sterilized HIV positive women whose cases are being heard before a judge in Namibia - and longer still for the women who may never have their day in court

Dignity denied

"In Chile medical staff pressure HIV positive women to not have children or chastise them for getting pregnant, and sometimes, like in my case, sterilise women without their permission."

A funding struggle for an HIV prevention in women’s hands

Scientific decisions over AIDS are in danger of being left at the mercy of economics as scientists and activists divide over fears of jeopardising what little funds are available in a recession

1325: an exciting moment

"If we’ve done as much with as little resources as women have, think what we could do with more. Women are the energy of the future… its up to women to show what women’s leadership in the UN can do." Charlotte Bunch

Rape in war: the time for 'never again' is now

On October 17th thousands of Congolese women, led by Olive Lembe Kabila marched to end impunity for sexual violence against women. Rape survivors joined the march, many of them from their hospital beds, defying a culture that shames victims rather than perpetrators

1325 and the violent world of small arms

Earlier this year the Philippines became the first country in Asia to launch a National Action Plan to implement SRC1325, and in a bold move, the control of small arms was made a key part of the strategy

UN business: women, guns and small arms control

"It is not about feminism, it is about business. Member states give us money to implement projects, and if I implement a project that only affects 50 percent of the population, that is bad business." Agnes Marcaillou, UN Office for Disarmament Affairs.

The secular state: protector of women's rights?

By relying on the secular state as the answer to the religious right and entrusting the Left with the protection of women's rights, feminists in Latin America may have overlooked the root causes of attraction to the religious right: the state's failure to deliver social services to all

'Jesus was a feminist'

Ghanaian feminist theologian Mercy Amba Oduyoye speaks to Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah about religion, patriarchy and reinterpreting the Bible from a feminist perspective

Tales of the lionesses: the third African Feminist Forum

Where does feminism fit in our narrative of African experience? What is the vision of Africa’s ‘lionesses’- feminist thinkers and doers? Jessica Horn reflects on the opening of the third African Feminist Forum

Chile's global drama

An extraordinary Latin American country gifts another story to the world. But Chile's latest epic carries many ghosts in its train, writes Isabel Hilton.

Making women's opposition visible to NATO

NATO's continued 'mission creep' demands a degree of militarization that masculinizes and deforms everyday life. The forthcoming NATO Summit in Lisbon will launch a new Strategic Concept. Cynthia Cockburn says we need to be alert

Interfaith peacework: a glimmer of solidarity

Just as borders, once drawn, become subject to militant patrol, so are the lives and bodies of women once they are marked by religious tensions. The need to address the nexus between religion, gender and conflict is becoming vital to peacebuilding

Peacework: to love a stranger

If we, who have paid the highest price can talk to each other, then everyone should be able to

Religion, peace and gender

As the number of interfaith and faith-based peace initiatives grows, women peace activists from twenty one countries met in Nicosia to discuss how to use faith to build peace

Good substance, bad politics: the row over 1325

Why won’t the Security Council endorse the Secretary General’s strategy for enhancing women’s role in matters of peace and security? Is it because of the deep divisions within the UN system itself? Or is it because of the Russians? Lyric Thompson reports on the battle behind the scenes at the UN

A soundbite for the poor

How should civil society convey the countless loopholes, miseries and quiet victories of development in this digital era of time-compressed argument and ideological insinuation?

SCR 1325: just words on a piece of paper

"SCR 1325 is a tool, and the utility of a tool depends on how it is perceived and how activists employ it. So we have this resolution. Great; so what? Tell me how we can get people fired up on the ground." Peace laureate Jody Williams talks to Lyric Thompson.

International donors must fund female-controlled HIV prevention gel

A potential breakthrough in HIV prevention is being stifled by a lack of funding. Chi Mgbako outlines the necessity of putting safeguards against HIV transmission into female hands.

Gender, knowledge and change: questions and answers

When social change movements of all kinds are under attack, progressives need to build coalitions and to talk to one another as never before. Feminist models and methodologies can enrich every social change movement

NATO: fiddling with nuclear bombs while the planet burns

Next month NATO members meet in Lisbon to agree on a new Strategic Concept. Rebecca Johnson argues that if we treated nuclear weapons as the previous century’s problem to be disposed of, instead of fetishizing them as instruments of high strategic value, we would stand a far better chance of maintaining global security

On equal terms, please

‘American policy makers should understand religion better and engage with religious communities abroad’ argues the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Zainal Abidin Bagir responds to the report's co-author R. Scott Appleby.

The forgotten state

How European powers and the UN undermine the struggle of Africa’s last non-self governing territory for independence.

'Know-How', 'Know-What' and the politics of knowledge for social change

In an age when wealth and power present a more diffuse and benign face to the world, the soft authority of knowledge is ever more important as a force for social change. The politics of knowledge – how ideas are created, used and disseminated – represents a key issue for the social change community

The EU’s human rights policy in Russia: more than rhetoric?

Are the EU’s attempts to promote human rights in Russia capable of going beyond mere rhetoric, asks Eleanor Bindman? Or does the EU’s policy simply pay lip-service to its stated human rights ideals while allowing the Union to pursue other policy objectives which it sees as more important? Part 1

The politics of peace: SCR 1325 at 10

As the 10th anniversary of SCR 1325 approaches and the debates heat up, it is with dual and conflicting senses of deep frustration with the past and tentative optimism for the future. Lyric Thompson reports.

UN SCR 1325: the 50.50 debate

In 2000 UN Security Council Resolution 1325 gave women decision-making power in preventing conflict and building peace. As the 10th anniversary of 1325 approaches read recent openDemocracy articles examining the role of women in working for peace.

Thoughts on the Jewish boat to Gaza

Lynne Segal comments on the significance of an all-Jewish aid boat to Gaza that has been intercepted by the Israeli navy today and receives a message of hope from inside Gaza.

Of fundamentalisms, secular and otherwise

Engaging religious communities is a way forward for promoting democracy, human rights, and religious freedom around the world. “Failure to engage" will leave secular fundamentalists, along with the rest of us, on the outside looking in

Chechnya: choked by headscarves

In Chechnya there is official support for attacks on women when they are considered to have ‘flouted’ Islamic rules by not wearing a headscarf or covering up enough. Tanya Lokshina listened to some of the women’s despairing accounts.

Our weird and wanton wars

Why do we always seem to be at war? Is it because our physical and psychological distance from the carnage helps to sustain our self-belief as a peaceful people?

The Left and the Big Society V: Tessa Jowell

How will the left respond to the clear challenge of the Conservatives' Big Society project? Tessa Jowell MP, former Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, gives her view.

The Labour leadership candidates on the future of Britain: Diane Abbott

The final week of voting is under way in the Labour leadership election with the new leader set to be announced in Manchester on Saturday. Whoever is chosen as leader will be expected to set out their approach on political reform. In order to inform the debate, OurKingdom has asked each of the candidates for their views on five key questions. First is Diane Abbott.

Fundamentalist strategy: the secular and the religious

In Latin America a close network of religious leaders from different traditions, political elites and civil organizations has formed to protect the traditional sexual order. Women's bodies continue to be a key battleground

Germany goes global: farewell, Europe

The great engine both of Europe’s economic strength and its political unity is falling out of love with its creation. The challenge to the continent is profound, says Ulrike Guérot.
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