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“Phoebe

Phoebe Braithwaite is openDemocracy’s submissions editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

How Rojava-inspired women's councils have spread across Europe

Could this little-known system provide a way forward for real democracy – from the bottom up – in our failing neoliberal political systems?

Testosterone Rex: is the hormone the essence of masculinity, or is it far more complex?

Cordelia Fine talks about her new book – and how viewing risk as a “male” characteristic can mean we overlook risks to women’s lives.

Gender-just laws versus “divine” law in Sri Lanka

The heated debate over reforming Muslim personal law in Sri Lanka has resulted in an unprecedented mobilization of Muslim women across the country calling for progressive and gender-just laws.

Gender and fundamentalism: when religion muscles in on development

The truism that there cannot be real development without women’s participation needs a caveat: women’s rights cannot be achieved while religious forces are involved in development.

The new UN secretary general is poised to show the world what a feminist looks like

There has been real progress at this year's UN Commission on the Status of Women, and the new Secretary General has asked women around the world to "keep our feet to the fire". 

Without global solidarity the women’s movement will collapse

Borders are closing across the world, blocking women from the Global South both from seeking refuge, having a voice and working on global gender justice.

Who runs the world? Girls! Not at the UN CSW

At this year's UN Commission on the Status of Women, the empowerment of girls is getting more attention than ever before. But the outcome document must demand that girls get to speak for themselves.

Nagaland and the fight for a women's quota

Tribal bodies dominated by men, protesting against a 33 percent reservation for women to participate in public office, have brought parts of Nagaland to a standstill.

Indigenous women brave the storm to begin talks at UN CSW

Despite the winter storm that shut down other events at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the event on eradicating violence against indigenous women and girls was packed.

No borders on gender justice

As the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) takes place in New York, gender justice advocates from around the world are uniting around the following principles.

No Women’s Day without refugee women

Hand-in-hand with Trump, Theresa May is not merely playing to an anti-migrant populist crowd but helped to create it. This system is working as intended, but it must be disrupted.

Time for a Fifth World Conference on Women?

Not holding a fifth UN world conference in 2015 has left a vacuum, a dangerous thing when patriarchal ethno-nationalists are colonizing public space. It is time to insist that international human rights institutions deliver for women.

Feminist pacifism or passive-ism?

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. In the face of increasing femicide, sexual violence and rape culture, we need to confront the question of women’s self-defence.

Berta Vive! Lessons from Honduras on resistance

A year on from the assassination of indigenous leader Berta Caceres, five Honduras leaders give key lessons on carrying forward the global fight.

Should domestic abuse have its own law?

In the UK, there is no specific offence for 'domestic violence'. Is the law failing women seeking justice?

The right kind of money: Part 3 on funding women's rights

Mama Cash explores how funding women and girls translates (or doesn’t) into money for feminist movements. The final of this three-part series highlights how funding can reach women activists.

Collaborations: Part 2 on funding women's rights

Mama Cash explores how funding women and girls translates (or doesn’t) into money for feminist movements. The second of three, this article examines the new landscape of feminist collaborations.

Quantity and quality: Part 1 on funding women’s rights

The first international women’s fund explores how funding women and girls translates (or doesn’t) into money for feminist movements. Part 1 of 3, this article defines quality in funding.

Women on the front at Raqqa: an interview with Kimmie Taylor

What is the reality of war like for the women of Rojava as they advance on Raqqa? Kimmie Taylor from Britain is on the frontline and puts us in the picture.

India's female genital mutilation: a thousand-year-old secret

So little was known, until recently, about the secretive practice of FGM in a small  Muslim community that India is not even on the UN’s list of FGM countries.

Standing our ground at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

When civic space is under attack, we make no dangerous accommodations. We stand up, and we fight back.

Trump's slap in the face of Lady Liberty

Will women be turned away from the UN Commission on the Status of Women, to be held in March, in New York? The world's global institutions must fight the 'Muslim Ban', starting with the United Nations.

On India’s Republic Day, we must remember Kunan Poshpora

As the Kunan Poshpora mass rape hearings continue, we talk to the co-author of a book which seeks to remember the 1991 events as an act of resistance.

The Washington March: Historic communion of women

The women’s march brought many first-timers on to the streets. A first-timer writes about why the election of Donald Trump spurred her to travel from North Carolina to Washington DC to take part.

America – are you woke?

Now that the first wave of Women’s Marches is over, Americans must prepare for the difficult work of solidarity.

Women storm the capitol

Drawing from the ground, SASHALYNILLO captures the raw energy of the Women's March on Washington.

After the Women's March on London: what now?

If just 3-4% of the 100,000 people who marched commit to further intersectional organising and activism, this could be a historic tipping point for feminist struggle in Britain.

Sisters and the sisterhood: a video debate with Kimberlé Crenshaw and others

As Women's Marches take place around the world, listen to civil rights advocate Kimberle Crenshaw, CEO Margaret Heffernan and journalist Myriam Francois debate feminism, class and solidarity. 

Towards a feminist United Nations: a six-point agenda for the new SG

Leading feminist thinkers and UN staff, past and present, have articulated six key recommendations for António Guterres, the new Secretary-General.

The Indian judiciary are paper tigers

In the final of a three-part series dealing with the law on domestic violence in India, we focus on the failures of a patriarchal judiciary to protect women adequately in cases of domestic violence. 

Is the Indian law on domestic violence fit for purpose?

In the first of this three part series, we examine the effectiveness of one of the major planks of the domestic violence law in India: the post of Protection Officers.

António Guterres: The Ninth Man

How will UN Secretary-General António Guterres demonstrate the UN's intention to resist the rising tide of misogyny in the US and the global wave of misogynistic nationalism?

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.

The voice of Berta Cáceres has become the voice of millions

Graffiti on the walls in Honduras - Berta Vive! Teenagers chanting as they march - Berta Caceres Flores, sown in the heart of all rebellions !  Berta didn’t die, she multiplied.

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