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This week's editor

NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Your fatwa does not apply here

The UN Human Rights Council has appointed Karima Bennoune as Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights. Read articles by Karima on openDemocracy 50.50's platform, Frontline voices against Muslim fundamentalism.

Documenting women’s lives: mothers' names on marriage certificates

In England and Wales in the twenty-first century we continue to perpetuate a system that writes women out of our collective history, and we are all poorer for it.

"Men get more freedom": women and memoir writing

Juliet Jacques spoke to Dawn Foster about her new book, Trans: A Memoir, and the struggles of gender typecasting in the media

Why doesn’t patriarchy die?

The prevailing common sense that things can only get better, that men and women are equal – virtually – is confronted by the vigour of patriarchal divisions of labour and sexism in popular culture. 

Mapping women's resistance to social and ecological degradation

Women coming together to cross pollinate ideas and build understanding about differing burdens, responsibilities, and solutions is an essential part of worldwide efforts to restore the health of the planet.

The UN: are development and peace empty words?

As governments adopt the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, their roles in producing and selling weapons that undermine development, peace and security are coming under scrutiny.

Freedom to speak? No-go areas and unsafe spaces

At the heart of the debate on free speech and censorship are contested understandings of where power resides. Where should the line be drawn?

The overlooked history of women against feminism

Anti-feminists do not hold an obvious place within feminist history, but the tradition dates back to the late-18th century.

Security theology: life, death and the everyday in Israel-Palestine

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian spoke to Zoe Holman in the West Bank about Israeli settler-colonialism, a necropolitical regime, and her latest book, Security Theology, Surveillance and the Politics of Fear.  

Friendship and violence: the genius of Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante’s novels have become a word of mouth success, despite the Italian literary world’s snobbery, because they capture the complex inner world of female friendships and women’s experiences.

Jeremy Corbyn and the myth of the hysterical woman

It is an indictment of the status quo that policies which will benefit women and people of colour are being dismissed as lacking credibility from those inside and outside of the Labour Party.

Mobilising for peace and freedom: from aspiration to lasting change

The 2015 WILPF manifesto outlines how those who choose peace over conflict must act, and recognises that negotiations on a treaty making transnational corporations accountable for violation of human rights is part of the way forward.  

Manic Pixies and Cool Girls: on female solidarity and the male gaze

Pop culture tropes of ‘the girl who isn’t like other girls’ might seem subversive but they reinforce old sexist ideas that women are frivolous and exist for the male gaze.

The VICE guide to good intentions?

VICE’s new women’s interest website Broadly offers VICE a chance to shake off its reputation for the ‘hipster misogyny’ of Terry Richardson and ‘female writer suicide’ fashion shoots. Here’s hoping they take it.

Unlimited parental leave: progress or PR coup?

The new Netflix employee perk doesn't stand up to scrutiny, but softens their brand.

Can Russia confront the horrors of its domestic violence epidemic?

With the murder of a pregnant woman and her six children, Russia’s domestic violence epidemic again briefly surfaces into headlines.  Perhaps one day these victims too can have their public monument. 

Women's working lives in the ‘new’ university

Is there room for any women other than the "exceptional woman", let alone women with children, in the new hyper-stratified university?

Jeremy Corbyn: Labour’s gift to British women?

Jeremy Corbyn's Working with Women policy document has been well received by feminists, but the silence on the intersectionality of religious fundamentalism and women’s oppression, and on prostitution, raises questions.

'Disappearing' sex workers in the Amnesty International debate

An Amnesty draft policy to protect women in sex work has attracted a fierce debate, but sex workers' voices are often absent in the opposition arguments.

Jack the Ripper, 'interesting history', and masculine violence

The opening of a Jack the Ripper Museum was not only insulting in how it seemed to glorify the murder of women – it was a disservice to all of us interested in local history and inclusive explorations of our past.

Nobody Left Behind? The lives of indigenous women with HIV

HIV rates are driven by widespread global inequalities. What will it take to put the human rights of indigenous women living with HIV on the global map?

Breastfeeding is a human right, but does society truly enable women to breastfeed?

We know breast is best, but the challenges of juggling work and motherhood still throw up insurmountable barriers for women.

Believing women's narratives in Sweden and Norway

Too often women's oppression is sidelined as a lesser cause, and women's experiences dismissed, as two cases in Sweden and Norway show.

Women post-recession: moving towards insecurity

After the recession, the rise in casual and precarious contracts is entrenching gender inequality in the UK.

Doing gender justice in northern Uganda

The efforts of NGOs and international organisations to gradually nudge post-war northern Uganda towards a ‘gender just society’ ignore the fact that gender equality also has real enemies.

No experts, saviours or victims: women living with HIV

Beyond bio-medical models, recent research has enabled a better psycho-social understanding of how women can access HIV treatment, if they want to, in stressful daily conditions.

Pirates of the European Union

Only when we approach gender equality mainstreaming in a more strategic way can we claim that gender equality is a fundamental principle of European Union Common Security and Defence Policy missions.

Pragna Patel: a politics of hope and not hate

"At the heart of my work is the idea that human beings are to be intrinsically valued, that we can all co-exist through mutual respect and rights."  - Pragna Patel

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.

Towards Plan F: planning for a feminist economy in the UK

Feminists must reject mainstream austerity rhetoric and challenge politicians to adopt an alternative 'Plan F' to bring about equality between women and men on the basis of a caring and sustainable economy.

Women's paid and unpaid work, and the colonial hangover

At the International Association for Feminist Economics conference, social scientists, researchers and economists agree that women's work is still undervalued globally, and dogged by an enduring subconscious colonial mindset.

In celebration of African literature: Africa Writes 2015

For the past 6,000 years, Africans have been writing. Africa Writes 2015, a three-day festival in London, explored the continuation of this tradition in all its contemporary forms.

Sick and tired: Sri Lankan domestic workers fight back against violence

As protesters demand justice for domestic workers after a brutal assault, isn't it time we all became sick and tired of violence and exploitation hidden away from the public sphere in the home?

Women of Kosovo: a mirage of freedom and equality

A female President and political discourse that trades in 'gender equality' can't paper over the continued corrosive effects of patriarchy in Kosovo, from property law to social taboos.

Haki Stërmilli’s 'If I Were a Boy': the first Albanian feminist manifesto

Haki Stërmilli 1936 novel If I Were a Boy portrays the contemporary problems of Albanian society that stem from a misogynistic mindset, and deserves to be (re-)read today.

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