Libya: "Rejoicing at our bloody democracy"

For sustainable peace, the UN must refuse to sanction militarism as the default response to unwanted migration and invest in grassroots women and youth human rights defenders.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world
IOM and Red Crescent refugee camp in Benghazi.

Libya: "Rejoicing at our bloody democracy"

For sustainable peace, the UN must refuse to sanction militarism as the default response to unwanted migration and invest in grassroots women and youth human rights defenders.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world
IOM and Red Crescent refugee camp in Benghazi.

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Is Islamic State a cover for government policy in the Maldives?

Journalists, independent social media activists, human rights defenders and opposition politicians in the Maldives are being continually harassed and threatened. A look at what lies behind these attacks explores whether extremism is being fuelled by the Maldivian Government for political gain.

The truth behind the "Turkish model"

Contrary to received wisdom, the “Turkish model” was not based on the entrepreneurial potential of emerging conservative businessmen of Anatolia nurtured by market reforms and the Islamic outlook of the government, but on a regulatory framework changed to allow arbitrary government intervention in support of politically privileged entrepreneurs.

The power of stories: raising the profile of African women’s cultural production

"I’m concerned about the fact that we download a lot about ourselves yet upload very little into mainstream media, no matter which media we are talking about”, Sandra Mbanefo Obiago, Nigerian filmmaker and writer, speaks to Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah about her passion for all forms of creativity.

Palestinian refugees: homes in exile

In Palestinian refugee camps, the right of return now encompasses, and stands for, a wider universal demand for freedom, dignity and rights - including the right to go back or to stay, and to move across borders.

Litigating for equality in South Africa: Muslim marriages

While South Africa’s legal provisions around equality are some of the best in the world, do they adequately protect women in Muslim marriages? Hoodah Abrahams-Fayker reflects on the case law and feminist legal activism.

Prostitution and drug misuse: breaking the vicious circle

The double stigma faced by women who use drugs and are involved in prostitution, means that they are a largely hidden group in the UK. New research argues that for those who wish to rebuild their lives, policy and services must address these issues together.

Diagnosed in the dock? Gun control and mental health in Canada

Canada's tendency to frame its national conversations in comparison to the US evades its own problems, including inadequate mental health care.

Religious minority women of Iraq: time to speak up

While the annihilation of religious minorities in Iraq is being systematically enacted, we cannot ignore how the intersection of religious affiliation, gender and geographic location are influencing both the nature of violence perpetrated and its outcomes. Feminists cannot remain silent on the atrocities perpetrated on minority women’s bodies in Iraq.

Loans, university, and Britain's debt-laden teenagers

Current funding of higher education in Britain places an unfair burden on the young. It cannot be right that teenagers celebrating their A-Level triumphs this week face a debt-burdened future and poorer health in order to protect the pensions of those who enjoyed a free education. 

Preventing HIV: the decriminalisation of sex work

A new bill, together with moves by some police departments in American cities to end the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution, has given hope to activists fighting to reduce the spread of HIV, secure human rights for sex workers, and to decriminalize sex work.

Guerilla woolfare: against the madness of mutually assured destruction

Rolling out a seven mile knitted pink peace scarf between the Atomic Weapons Establishment complexes at Aldermaston and Burghfield on Nagasaki Day may sound crazy. It isn't as insane as letting the UK government spend another £100 billion on building a new nuclear weapons system to replace Trident.

One year on from the 'Go Home vans' flop: has the Home Office learned anything?

The UK government seems immune to criticism of its hostile approach to immigration, but the decision to return home for any migrant is not a simple one. Rather than obscuring evidence, the government must be transparent about what really constitutes a solution.

Gaza: The Jewish Right and the Muslim Right

The war in Gaza has strengthened both the Muslim Right and the Jewish Right; while the results have been disastrous for the people of Gaza, they aren't good for the people of Israel either. Meredith Tax asks, what does this mean for the two state solution?

Whose recovery?: Gendered austerity in the UK

The impact of government spending cuts, combined with structural sexism in the UK, means that for British women, news of an economic recovery means nothing to their daily lives.

An alternative history of peacemaking: a century of disarmament efforts

Wars may be started for trivial or mistaken reasons, as happened in 1914, but they are fuelled by arms industries. It’s time to look at the alternative history of efforts to prohibit the weapons that feed wars, causing widespread humanitarian suffering.

Executed: what were the principles for which Edith Cavell lived and died?

Nurse Edith Cavell was shot by a German firing squad in 1915. The words 'For King and Country' are inscribed on her monument in London, but so too are her own words, 'Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone'. Cynthia Cockburn explores this contradiction.   

AIDS and adolescents: denying access to health

With a 50% increase in AIDS-related deaths among young people, AIDS is now the second leading cause of their deaths. At the conclusion of the AIDS 2014 Conference, Alice Welbourn is left wondering whether anything is going to change in the HIV world for young women - and their children.

Calling from the margins: ending child and early forced marriage in the UK

Ending forced marriage and FGM within a generation cannot be done without addressing the harder issues, such as the impact of austerity measures, immigration controls and religious fundamentalisms. Hannana Siddiqui reports on the concerns of BME groups for women following the GIRL Summit last week.

Gender inequality in Spain: glass ceiling or steel barrier?

From the law of succession to domestic violence, from political representation to the judiciary and the boardroom, from pay to reproductive rights, gender equality in Spain remains a distant goal

Women who use drugs: resistance and resilience in the face of HIV

In 2011 the UN General Assembly resolved to halve the number of people who inject drugs being diagnosed with HIV. Silvia Petretti writes from her own experience, and asks why the needs and rights of women who use drugs are being overlooked at this year's International AIDS Conference

HIV, homophobia and historical regression: where next for Uganda?

President Yoweri Museveni was once globally admired for mobilising an HIV response in Uganda founded upon compassion and shared responsibility. So what happened? We need to look back in time in order to comprehend the devastating scale of Uganda’s backslide in HIV prevention, care and support

Uganda: the social impact of HIV criminal law

Criminalisation of HIV is unjust, unwise, undermines existing government efforts and is especially damaging to women’s rights, argues Hajjarah Nagadya

Ending forced marriage in the UK: the problem with top down policy

As the GIRL Summit opens in London today, Sajda Mughal argues that the failure to include working with perpetrators and changing mindsets in affected communities on the agenda, means that the root of the problem will not be addressed.

HIV disclosure: changing ourselves, changing others

When will policy makers, politicians and academics start to think upstream, in order to change their own and their employees’ attitudes towards HIV before seeking to change the attitudes of others?

Protecting girls’ rights: ending forced marriage

One step the Obama administration can take immediately is to develop a comprehensive strategy outlining the actions it will take to end child marriage globally. Lyric Thompson asks whether it will do so at today's GIRL Summit in London on ending forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

Bio-insecurity and HIV/AIDS

Science and global funding of HIV prevention is seen as an investment in biosecurity, but unless prevention and treatment take place within the context of the local bio-insecurity of the poor woman and her family the AIDS epidemic can not be fully stemmed, argue Ida Susser and Zena Stein

HIV: a call for solidarity with the transgender community

With the prevalence of HIV 50 times higher than that of the general population, societal acceptance and family support are crucial to the emotional wellbeing and health outcomes of LGBT people. Cecila Chung tells her own story and calls for transgender sisterhood at the AIDS 2014 Conference

AIDS 2014 Conference: stepping up the pace and still on the wrong path

As the 20th International AIDS Conference opens in Melbourne this weekend, Alice Welbourn reflects on how global policies still fail to acknowledge the gender dimensions of this pandemic, or take into account the new broader medico-ethical debates which echo many of the concerns of women living with HIV.

AIDS 2014: Where are the women we need to step up the pace?

With scientific advances in controlling HIV we need a strong community-based response now more than ever to ensure that the stigma still surrounding HIV does not stop people from coming forward for testing, treatment and care. So where are the community delegates at the International AIDS conference ?

Indonesia: facing life with HIV

Strategies, no matter how well intentioned, are not enough without the knowledge, insights and experiences of people with HIV to translate them into effective and rights-based practice. Sindi Putri shares her own experience in Indonesia.

Sonja Karadzic can’t help her surname, but she can help her politics

Sonja Karadzic-Jovicevic’s emergence as a political figure highlights the crucial juncture Bosnia and Herzegovina finds itself in in 2014, as well as the complex, auxiliary role of female family members in post-Yugoslav ultranationalism

Syria: stories of devastation and hope

The image of Barbie dolls ‘dismembered’ by Syrian children is a reminder that the trauma of war will last long after the fighting stops.

Political economy, security, and the summit to end sexual violence in conflict

From London to Ukraine, Madeleine Rees reflects on the lessons of the recent Summit to end sexual violence in conflict, and calls upon States to respond by adopting a new approach to conflict prevention, and to revisit the doctrine of the responsibility to protect.

The marching season: a call for a new vision in Northern Ireland

As the climax of the 'marching season' in Northern Ireland approaches, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire recalls how the cycle of violence was broken when the civil community united during the Troubles and called for an end all the violence. Today she calls upon politicians to listen to the voices of women and youth

Women everywhere have their movement limited by the male gaze

Street harassment stems from patriarchal entitlement and male structural power that treats women as objects who exist for the benefit of men.  Less frequently discussed, however, is how it intersects with other power disparities and prejudices, from racism to ableism.

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