only search

About Jane Gabriel

Jane Gabriel founded and edited the website openDemocracy 50.50 in 2006, publishing critical perspectives on social justice, gender and pluralism. The site was run as a feminist editorial collective until 2016 when Jane retired as editor.

Prior to joining openDemocracy, Jane produced and directed more than 30 documentaries for Channel 4 Television and the BBC international current affairs series Correspondent, winning the Royal Television Society and One World Media awards for documentaries filmed in Greece and India. In 1980’s she was a member of the UK's first all-women television production company, Broadside. In the 1970's she worked at Granada TV in the UK, and at Pacifica radio KPFA in the US. She is a qualified advocate for children in care, and a Trustee of the IF Project.

Articles by Jane Gabriel

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Remembering Cassandra Balchin (24 May 1962 - 12 July 2012)

Cass Balchin was a founding sister of openDemocracy 50.50  and a leading contributor to our dialogue on Gender Politics and Religion which explores the impact of the global resurgence of religion in public life on women's human rights, and examines the possibilities for gender equality and pluralism. 

Theo Angelopoulos: "I am standing by you"

The award winning Greek film director, Theo Angelopoulos, died yesterday in an accident whilst working on his new film The Other Sea. He spoke to Jane Gabriel in 2009 about his film 'The Dust of Time', and in 1993 about his films 'The Suspended Step of the Stork' and 'The Travelling Players'

Women: redefining peace, democracy and security

From May 23-25, women activists and scholars from around the world will gather in Quebec at the invitation of the Nobel Women’s Initiative to discuss 'Women Forging a New Security: Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict'. Jenny Morgan and Jessica Horn will be reporting for openDemocracy 50.50

Best of 50.50 in 2010

A global debate for democracy is neither global nor democratic without the female half of humanity. Read seven of the best articles on 50.50 that argue for the equal reality, importance and democratic implication of women’s experience of the world.

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.

Prospects for gender equality and women's human rights

Our new editorial project Religion Gender Politics provides a forum for dialogue and debate about the impact on women's human rights of the global resurgence of religion in public life. Here are just some of the articles we have published previously on openDemocracy on these issues.

Iran: time to change the question

Parvin Ardalan spoke to Jane Gabriel at the UN CSW about the link between a conversation with her father and her work fighting for the rights and freedom of both men and women in Iran, and why it's time the international community changed the question: how can we help?

Courage, controversy and chaos at the UN Commission on the Status of Women

More than two thousand women's rights activists are in New York for the UN Commission on the Status of Women to review the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action for Equality, Development and Peace. The inside story is being covered daily by openDemocracy guest writers.

Women: reflections on our human rights

It's seventeen years since women's rights were recognised as human rights at the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna. openDemocracy writers examine the struggle to turn these rights into a day-to-day reality for women and girls and examine the challenges that lie ahead

Bring them into the daylight

The session on Sexual and Reproductive Health rights in Africa, held by the Amanitare Sexual Rights Network opened with the blunt observation by Dr Lesley Ann Foster, director of Masimanyane, that just as violence against women is global, so too is the failure of every government in the world to meet its obligations in international, national and regional law to protect women. For all the advances in our understanding of the problem she said, “ What we cannot claim, is that we have changed the culture of impunity.“

Equality between women and men is not a ‘women’s issue’

As the 54th UN Commission on the Status of Women meets to review action on the promises made in Beijing’95, will the creation of a new women’s agency at the UN finally give the CSW the teeth it needs to advance women’s human rights?

Checkpoints and counter spaces

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian talked to Jane Gabriel about her latest book ‘Militarization and Violence against Women in Conflict Zones in the Middle East'. A Palestinian case-study. In which she analyses Palestinian women's agency and the many different ways in which they create counter spaces to the militarization of their daily lives.

Changing lives in the West Bank villages

The increasing economic poverty in villages outside Ramallah in the West Bank is leading to unexpected changes in gender roles and is challenging the tradition of early marriage. Jane Gabriel has been listening to those involved in making changes on the ground.

Who are the criminals?

On her way home to Northern Ireland from the Nobel Women’s conference in Guatemala, Laureate Mairead Maguire was detained by the USA Homeland Security Immigration. She was held for two hours, during which she was questioned, fingerprinted and photographed. This resulted in her missing her flight. She was released upon the actions of the Nobel Women’s Initiatives representatives’ who insisted on her immediate release. The following are Mairead's words.

Laureate Mairead Maguire: building 'deep democracy'

Laureate Mairead Maguire spoke to Jane Gabriel about a new politic she sees arising: one in which ‘deep democracy’ is built by people, one to one, and demanding that the money be taken out of militarism.

To know that we are not alone

Every woman at the NWI gathering in Antigua had a way of redefining democracy - from writing the new Ecuadorian constitution to include the rights of nature, to fighting for a place at the negotiating table of the peace talks in Sudan. Jane Gabriel listened to three days of stories,debate and plans for the future.

Laureate Jody Williams: telling it like it is

Jody Williams speaks frankly to Jane Gabriel about the impact that being a Nobel Peace Laureate has on her life - both personally and politically.

Democracy in action: the Nobel Women’s Initiative at work

Activists, scholars and policy makers from more than thirty countries are heading for Antigua, Guatemala, this weekend for the Nobel Women’s Initiative second international conference ‘Women Redefining Democracy’. openDemocracy will be covering three days of debate as the women examine women’s experience of democracy in different contexts, from both inside and outside the structures of power.

It all began on March 8th: feminism and fatwas......

Moroccan women won profound changes in their status when the Family law was reformed.

Karama: Uniting to be each other's voice

After three years of constant debate, the Karama movement is finding a common language with which to speak, and a ‘voice' on international platforms. Jane Gabriel spoke to Hibaaq Osman, Karama's founder. Listen now.

Not until 2045......

If there is such a thing as ‘choreographed chaos', it's been happening here at the CSW  for the past two weeks in the Vienna café in the UN.

The world behind a word

Every one of the hundreds and hundreds of women who are here at the CSW is trying to build a ‘common understanding', by accurately describing the daily lived reality in their country or region.

Demand: do not ask. We are not asking for something that we are not entitled to.

The Arab Women's Network "ROA" meaning ‘Vision', held a session called ‘Occupations in the Arab region contribute to maintaining Gender Inequalities'. The panel of women from Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine described the impossibility of working for women's rights and the alleviation of women's suffering in an area of endless conflict.

Every year I swear I'm not coming back!

On my way to the canteen I met Margaret Owen who is the director of Widows for Peace through Democracy  she told me that she every year she swears to herself that she's never coming back. But this is her  eleventh time - so I asked her why she's here again.

We Moroccan women: we are not impatient, we know that it will come

Podcast: The reform of the Moroccan Family Code (Mudawana) in 2004 was a watershed in the campaign for women’s rights. The change ushered in a new era in which it was possible to talk openly about such issues as violence against women. But five years on the levels of violence remains unchanged and the Women’s Action Union is now mobilising public opinion in the battle to win more protection for women. In Casablanca recently more than fifteen thousand signatures were collected in a day calling on the city council to build shelters for women and children fleeing family and domestic violence. 

From poverty, stigma and isolation - to the psyche, patriarchy and the planet.....

Today the 53rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women gets underway for ten days of meetings, greetings, roundtables and interactive panels and dialogue. This afternoon two roundtables, each with representatives from more than 95 countries will begin the discussion on this year's priority theme  "The equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including care-giving in the context of HIV/AIDS".

Syrian Women's Rights: "the fight does not stop here"

Syrian Women's Rights: "The fight does not stop here, this is not the end of the story".

Also read: Bassam AlKadi - one man's fight to end 'honour killings'.

Iraqi women refugees: surviving in Syria

Iraqi women refugees: surviving in Syria. As the months turn into years, more and more women refugees in Damascus are becoming vulnerable to the human trafficking networks.

Femicide and Patriarchy in Lebanon

Femicide and Patriarchy in Lebanon:  The Lebanese judiciary has tried sixty six cases of 'honour killing' since 1999 and rejected all of them. Dr Azza Baydoun told Jane Gabriel the story behind the trials.

Podcast: reform of family law in Egypt is prompting discussion about women's sexual rights within marriage

Legal reform in Egypt establishing Family Courts with mandatory mediation ( see Mulki Al-Sharmani: Egypt's family courts: route to empowerment? )   and the introduction of no fault divorce proceedings known as ‘khola'  is prompting discussion about relations between men and women in marriage, including women's sexual rights.

Women and Memory: “I’m the Story”

Jane Gabriel meets the actors and writers of the Cairo-based Women and Memory forum.

Brazil: searching for a violence-free life

Meeting women's rights activists in Salvador, Brazil, Jane Gabriel finds there can be no talk of empowerment without first tackling endemic violence.

Inside the Muslim Brotherhood: "living the other side of existence"

Afaf El Sayyad tells Jane Gabriel about living within a strict section of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, what drove her to leave, and how it felt to take off her veil after eleven years

Syndicate content