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This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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.

Choose a woman to lead the UN!

UN leaders and experts have sent an Open Letter to each member of the UN Security Council asking for the selection of a woman and gender equality champion as the next UN Secretary-General.

A lone raised hand: who will become the next UN Secretary-General ?

Six women and six men are competing to become the next UN Secretary-General. As the drama unfolds, it’s still not clear who will make the Security Council’s shortlist when it votes this week.

Feminist Dissent: why a new journal on gender and fundamentalism?

A new journal, Feminist Dissent, aims to create a space to interrogate the multi-faceted links between historical and resurgent religious fundamentalism and gender.

Nepali widows: changing colours, changing mindsets

The growing widows’ movement in Nepal is winning rights for single and widowed women, and challenging the deprivation and discriminatory practices that stem from age-old social norms and customs.

Who are they, these revolutionary Rojava women?

Meredith Tax just had to find out who they were - the revolutionary women of Rojava, bearing arms against ISIS, building a new world...she had to find their story, for herself, and in her new book, for us.

Disembodying honour and exposing the politics behind it

The reaction to the public stripping of a Coptic grandmother in Upper Egypt reminds us of the power of popular campaigns to shame those who use embodied concepts of honour politically.

Whitewashing Sharia councils in the UK?

In an Open Letter to Theresa May, hundreds of women’s human rights organisations and campaigners warn against a further slide towards privatised justice and parallel legal systems.

Piece of Silk: "When story-telling is a matter of life and death"

The play, Piece of Silk, is a powerful study of the experiences of women survivors of domestic abuse - an experience that knows no ethnic, national or class boundaries. 

Myth-busting in defense of grassroots women crisis responders

False claims that deny the impact of grassroots women's crisis responses are diverting much needed resources away from the very people making the best use of them.

Rojava revolution: how deep is the change?

Is optimism in the future of revolutionary change misplaced in a region torn apart by war and a society where patriarchy has been so entrenched?  Part 6 of Witnessing the Rojava revolution.

For domestic abuse survivors, Kosovo’s justice system can be fatal

Proponents of family values preach respect for mothers, but expect those same mothers to simply endure abuse within their homes in silence - normalizing violence for generations to come.

Transnational marriage abandonment: A new form of violence against women?

Transnational marriage abandonment lies at the intersect of immigration and patriarchal control, allowing abusers and states to enjoy impunity for violations committed against women in transnational spaces.

Rojava revolution: on the hoof

Rojava is a fast moving, dynamic place where things change by the minute. What are the material conditions which support this woman-centred revolution ? Part 5 of 50.50's series  Witnessing the revolution in Rojava, northern Syria.

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.

 

China’s “leftover women” and the left-out system

Can a skin brand “change your destiny” in a socially empowering way? A video titled ‘Marriage Market Takeover’ seems to have done a good job, but not without an underlying agenda. 

Sexual violence and the culture of impunity in Nagaland

Perpetrators of sexual violence escape justice, while their victims are trapped between exhortations by women's advocacy groups not to ‘suffer quietly' and the social stigma attached to sexual violence.

Rojava revolution: reshaping masculinity

Rojava's battle with ISIS stronghold  Raqqa is not simply a military one, but an ideological one in which the position of women could not be more polarised. Part 4.

'The Devil is in the Details': development, women's rights and religious fundamentalisms

Dealing with the escalation of violence against women across the world requires a wider adoption of a feminist approach to working at the nexus of development, religious fundamentalisms and women’s rights.

Will Iran’s new parliament improve women’s rights?

The problem was the Guardian Council, a body which has veto authority over any legislature, which in this case rejected all 33 bills introduced by women deputies.

Can porn be feminist? A conversation with Erika Lust

Feminist porn is sex on film showing women and men as sexual equals - that sex is something you do together, not just something that a man does to a woman

Behind the murder of Berta Cáceres: corporate complicity

The corporate denial of violation of human rights in the death of Berta Cáceres reveals the web of complicities and impunity that prompted her assassination.

Legumes vs. labour rights: how Indian women pay for the cost of dal

A cooking project in Asia’s biggest informal settlement brings into focus the millions of workers denied a share in the world’s seventh-largest economy.

Hotel: a meditation on the meaning of 'home'

Joanna Walsh’s new book, Hotel, is a memoir of the breakdown of her marriage and the difficulties in leaving a relationship; and an exploration of our relationship with and within hotels.

UN CSW: the way to empower women is to use CEDAW Article 5, not the CSW

The most effective international mechanism to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment is not the cumbersome UN CSW, it’s CEDAW, and it’s time to use it to make governments accountable.

UN CSW: still failing to count all women

When will the CSW agree that without counting everyone, transwomen, lesbians and bisexuals included, gender equality will remain out of reach?

A woman’s place? The British House of Commons

The House of Commons exists to represent the people, yet the history of what constitutes ‘people’ has enshrined it as one of the UK’s most ‘pale, male and stale’ institutions.

Sexual harassment in Kosovo: no longer invisible

A video of a woman walking in Prishtina being sexually harassed 50 times in 8 hours and publication of the first quantitative data on the harassment of women counter the argument that it's not a widespread problem.

Seeking liberation, seeking comfort: women migrants in the UK

The UK Home Office continues to indefinitely detain people who have committed no crime, including pregnant women. Asylum seekers and refugees lead solidarity groups in the movement to end detention.

Cuba: through her eyes

What do Cuban women imagine for their country’s future? In the wake of recent reforms, Cyd Bernstein talks to four women leaders about feminism, culture and cultivating change.

Rape testimony: pitting truths against rape culture

Women of the World (WOW) created a public, cultural space where women’s stories of survival and their manner of telling them expanded their particular narratives into the universal and political.

'Showing up': Intersectionality 101

Patriarchy, racism and capitalism are connected. Yet without an intersectional approach, movements forget marginalised people. Addressing Southbank Centre's WOW Festival, Kimberlé Crenshaw insisted that solidarity from allies is an entitlement.

Berta’s struggle is our global struggle…

Berta Cáceres’s assassination is a painful reminder of the way in which a trinity of corporate, government and military interests creates a tapestry of capitalist power structures, making for an often deadly struggle.

Millions rising to stop male violence

Annual Million Women Rise marches, started in 2007 by Sabrina Qureshi, give a platform and visibility to women worldwide at the forefront of experiencing, and combatting, violence against women and children.

US Presidential race: the feminist generation gap

Why is there strong support for Bernie Sanders from young feminists and a tepid response to Hillary Rodham Clinton, a lifelong feminist? Why has a feminist generational gap emerged in 2016?      

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