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This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Sex work: not prohibited, not permitted

Criminalization sets a context in which the range of human rights violations experienced by sex workers is validated. Cross-movement collaboration on decriminalizing sex work is needed, now, more than ever.

The Sharia debate in the UK: who will listen to our voices?

Over 300 abused women have signed a statement opposing Sharia courts and religious bodies, warning of the growing threat to their rights and to their collective struggles for security and independence.

To exist is to resist: Million Women Rise

March 11th 2017 will mark the tenth anniversary of Million Women Rise's annual procession and rally to call an end to all forms of male violence against all women. It is more important than ever this year to show our resistance.

Suffragists, actresses and activists do it: 100 years of self-defence

Wherever women are confronted with violence, they try to protect themselves. When this resistance becomes collective, women's self-defence has at times been at the forefront of feminist efforts.

16 Days: survivors and activists at the centre

The field of violence against women is an argumentative space. 16 Days offers an opportunity to reflect, to be inspired and moved by women who have survived, our tireless campaigners and re-sisters. 

Dangerous journeys: violence against women migrants in Turkey

Syrian women migrants in Turkey face many forms of violence - sexual harassment, forced and early marriage, polygamy and trafficking for sexual exploitation. The perpetrators include soldiers, border officers and migration officers.

"We are not the women with black eyes."

Women who have survived abuse are changemakers. It’s time to involve companies in creating a paradigm shift in labour integration, to stop the double victimisation and social exclusion of survivors

Are universities preventing violence against women?

Sexual harassment of women students is rife and violence against women in universities is commonplace. Are universities reflecting cultural norms of violence against women instead of shaping new norms?

What lies beneath prostitution policy in New Zealand?

The rosy rhetoric that surrounds prostitution policy in New Zealand is being exposed by survivors of the prostitution system and the way that harm is glossed over by defenders of this approach.

The Italian mafia and violence against women

In the name of “culture” and “honour” young girls born into the ‘ndrangheta mafia in Calabria lose their sense of identity. Those who seek freedom pay a terrible price.  

A move to set free child sex abusers: in the name of “our culture”

Recent law reform initiatives on sexual crimes against children in Turkey reveal the growing danger for women and girls, and the need to interrogate the myths and biases underlying the “our culture” discourse.

Lesbians at the heart of the movement to end men’s violence

Feminist lesbians have been passionate activists from the beginning of the movement against men’s violence and remain an inspiration for women to live independently of men.

Men's intrusion: rethinking street harassment

To capture the impact of ‘street harassment’ on women’s sense of self, we may need to rethink our language to better fit the lived experience.

Since I gave you a phone it’s not rape

As evidence of UN peacekeepers’ sexual violence against Black African women and girls grows, media reporting and research reinterprets this as ‘transactional sex’, through the logic of colonialism.

Transforming a victim blaming culture

Media discussions of male violence against women focus on the actions of the victim rather than the perpetrator. How can we challenge this narrative using survivor’s testimony without putting them at risk of online harassment?

'Not a tomboy, a lesbian or a Hijra but a transman'

‘Whenever laws and bills in India are passed regarding transgender rights, transmen are almost never called to the discussion table. So what can I, a transman expect? Sometimes I feel I am in ‘No Man's Land’.

Resurgent Sikh fundamentalism in the UK: time to act?

Growing confidence among resurgent Sikh fundamentalist networks in the UK was evident in recent protests against inter-faith marriage. A desire to control Sikh women’s relationship choices is a key focal point for their mobilisation.

Repeal the Eighth: putting intersectionality into practice

A long-established conservative media frames the terms of abortion politics in Ireland. The pro-choice activism challenges dominant discourses with the inclusivity and diversity of the movement demonstrating intersectionality in practice.

The fraught road to justice: Sri Lankan victims of sexual violence

As more women testify about their experience of sexual violence in Sri Lanka the path to redress does not become smoother. What stands in the way of a just response to these wrongs?

Feminists and feminisms come in many forms: Suspend judgment!

The responses of feminist activists to the Suspend Judgement! campaign reveal the hidden hierarchies of power and exclusion we must confront. Part 2. Part 1.

A life of hope lived in defiance of violence: Rebecca Masika Katsuva

“They think when they’re raped that their lives are shattered. But we’d like them to know that it’s not the end of the world" - Rebecca Masika Katsuva. (1966 - 2016)

 

Hungarian 'women's health': stigma and coercion

Political and media institutions in Hungary are promoting a coercive culture of intervention in female bodies under the banner of self-care.

The dishonourable killing of a Pakistani social media celebrity

Qandeel Baloch’s murder fuelled the debate over women’s sexuality, their lives, and their deaths. Her ‘honour’ killing could bring about changes in Pakistan’s legal structure.

Classificar corpos, negar liberdades

A classificação é um instrumento de opressão. Este artigo, que examina o abuso dirigido a Caster Semenya, antecipa o tema do Forum Internacional AWID (8-11 setembro): “Integridade corporal e liberdades”. Español English

Clasificar cuerpos, negar libertades

La clasificación es un instrumento de opresión. Este artículo, que examina el abuso dirigido a Caster Semenya, anticipa el tema del Foro Internacional AWID (8-11 setiembre): “Integridad corporal y libertades”. Português English

Classifying bodies, denying freedoms

From sex to race, classification is a tool of oppression. Abuse directed at Caster Semenya lies at the centre of the AWID Forum’s theme ‘Bodily Integrity and Freedoms’. Português Español

Trans women and feminism: the struggle is real

At the centre of the troubled relationship between trans women and feminists are the questions of who gets to be a woman and who gets to call themselves a feminist.

Questioning rape in China

China is witnessing more and more spontaneous protests and online discussions against rape and the deeper structural issues that lie behind questions of sexuality.

A deadly politics of wealth: femicide in India

Census data shows that poverty and illiteracy are not key factors in India’s female genocide as many assume. The survival of girls is determined by a patriarchal politics of wealth control.

The diary of an AIDS activist: lost to temper and hungry for hope

“The real reason we haven’t beaten this epidemic boils down to one simple fact: we value some lives more than others”  -  Charlize Theron, speaking at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban.

Abortion and contraception in India: the role of men

The callous attitude of Indian men that  ‘she can always abort’ in cases of an unwanted pregnancy caused by failure to use a condom needs to be tackled at the root.

Crosstalk: HIV and linking across areas of criminalisation

In a moment of global attacks on civil society, an intersectional approach linking issues across HIV, sexuality, adult consensual sex and bodily integrity is critical.  Now, more than ever.

HIV, AIDS and holistic healthcare: can spirituality and science meet?

The theme of next week's World Aids Conference in Durban, South Africa is 'Access, Equity, Rights Now'. Will its debates offer the whole answer to those preventing - or living with - HIV?

Ending HIV: UN slogans vs the voices of civil society

Last week’s UN meeting exposed the deep divide about whether HIV responses should commit to respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights rather than blaming those who are most affected.

Poland: a total ban on abortion?

With unprecedented political momentum for a total ban on abortion in Poland, thousands are marching in protest and the Prime Minister is receiving coat hangers in the post.

 

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