About Lyric Thompson

Lyric Thompson is co-chair of Girls Not Brides, USA, and senior policy manager at the International Center for Research on Women

Articles by Lyric Thompson

This week's editor

Mariam Ali

Mariam Ali is Associate Editor for openDemocracy's Arab Awakening page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Lives of endurance: sanitizing crime against girls

How much longer will it take the global community to recognise the human dignity and worth of the girl child, and ensure the full enjoyment of her human rights and fundamental freedoms? 

The "best time to be born female": the worst to be a feminist advocate

Twenty years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action - a pivotal moment in the women’s human rights movement - governments are arguably less able to serve as torch-bearers than celebrities, philanthropists and popular icons.

The world's girls: no voice, no rights

How can we address the global threat to women's rights with no space for girls’ - or even women’s - voices at the UN? How will we design a post-2015 framework that responds to the needs of the most marginalized?

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.

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.

How to end child marriage in a generation

Reports that more than 200 girls kidnapped in north-eastern Nigeria have been forced to marry members of the rebel group Boko Haram bring home the brutal human-rights abuse—and, increasingly, security concern—that is child marriage.

War and 1325: principles or diversity checkbox ?

Why were women career soldiers, US defense contractors, female peace activists and Pentagon officials talking to each other in Washington DC ? Lyric Thompson reports on a most unusual conversation...

Civil society diplomats at the UN

" We’re not interested in making war safe for women… There are many substitutes for oil, but I can't think of a single substitute for a peace woman." Cora Weiss

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

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

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.

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.

Putting money where our mouths are

Lyric Thompson, in her last report from New York, writes that as we close the 54th UN Commission on the Status of Women, there’s no mystery as to what it takes to close the tremendous gap between policy and practice: money. Best-laid plans are moot if not resourced. Invest in women. As the UN motto reminds us, it's our world.

An uncomfortable truth: the gender turf war at UN CSW

Lyric Thompson takes issue with those who argue that men are inherently unqualified to speak as advocates for women's rights, and sees a paradoxical mirror image of the thinking that kept us out of classrooms, voting booths, political offices and boardrooms globally

The price of peace

“Peace processes are bad men talking to bad government and other bad men.....women in civil society are doing tremendous work on the ground, but they are not heard, they are not respected, and above all they are not funded.” Mary Robinson speaking at the UNCSW....

Defining the new American gender agenda

There has been much debate both within Washington and without as to what the new American gender agenda will be. Clearly, we’ll have one.......

A retrospective: 15 years later, Beijing’s mandate yet unfinished

Fifteen years ago in Beijing, then-First Lady Hillary Clinton made an instantly iconic cry for women’s rights: “Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights.” On that day, those words evoked a seven minute standing ovation; they have inspired more than a decade of homage to this one
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