only search openDemocracy.net

This week's editor

“Sunny

Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Re-branding hate?: ultra-conservative organising under a "family-friendly" banner

Diverse groups are joining international “pro-family” alliances. Their common cause? To block and roll back feminist and sexual rights gains.

Violence against women and extremism are intrinsically linked: overlooking this puts rights at risk

Religious groups we work with, in the fight against extremism, must have a commitment to universal rights – as well as peace.

"This is a war": Inside the global "pro-family" movement against abortion and LGBT rights

At a recent summit in Budapest, anti-abortion celebrities and anti-gay rights activists gathered with their political allies waging a ‘spiritual war’ for the ‘traditional family.’

How do we fight anti-rights fundamentalism at the United Nations?

An extract from the first report of a new initiative tracks how fundamentalist groups have embraced the UN as a site to foster conservative social change.

Video: Voices from the 2017 Nobel Women's Initiative conference

Participants at the 2017 Nobel Women's Initiative conference talk about memory, activism after trauma, what women's movements can learn from each other – and much more.

Fight fundamentalism in all its guises: a call to action from Yemen to Germany

“Be close to people’s dreams, their aspirations and their suffering...fight for a society of equal citizenship” - Nobel Peace laureate Tawakkol Karman. Jennifer Allsopp reports for 50.50 from the third day of the Nobel Women's Initiative conference.

What would a world without barriers to feminist solidarity look like?

Citizenship is a duty that transcends borders. Jennifer Allsopp reports for 50.50 from the first day of the 2017 Nobel Women's Initiative conference. 

There are more women at Sri Lanka’s universities – but they remain spaces dominated by men

Now is not the time for complacency. Universities should produce critical thinkers – and questioning gendered norms and expectations is a crucial part of this.

Copts of Egypt: Pope Francis, Al-Azhar, and the reality of sectarianism on the ground

The Pope’s meeting with Al-Azhar this week may create goodwill at a high-level, but on the ground, the situation for Copts is different.

Conflict in Syria: stop instrumentalising women’s rights

The international community is not listening to us. It must depoliticise the fight against sexual violence and humanise the countering violent extremism strategy.

Copts of Egypt: from survivors of sectarian violence to targets of terrorism

Recent bombings mark a new era in the religious targeting of Copts – one which is qualitatively different from previous patterns of sectarian violence.

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.

'Faith and family': shrinking common ground at the UN CSW

The Worldwide Organization for Women took a hard line against all forms of comprehensive sexual education, often provided by UN bodies, highlighting ideological differences within the CSW.

Lessons from Syria on women's empowerment during conflict

Syrian women will be the pillars of any future democratic process. Their efforts deserve support from national and international actors.

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.

Are we all beheaded Copts?

Is the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians by ISIS in Libya associated with a broader political project of cleansing the region of religious minorities? Would this not deserve demonstrations of solidarity?

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.

What will it take to end honour based violence in the UK?

‘Honour killings’ represent the tragic consequences of the failure to tackle honour based violence. Greater state action in supporting black feminist leadership, and ensuring protection and provision is essential.

Erdogan's war on women

Kurdish women in one of the strongest and most radical women’s movements in the world are taking a battering from the Turkish state with impunity - as Europe looks the other way

One woman’s brush with Sharia courts in the UK: "It ruined my life forever"

“My daughter and I appeared before the Sharia court at Regent's Park mosque in London. They were not interested in anything we had to say, the whole process was shocking.”

Táhirih unveiled: poet, theologian and revolutionary

Táhirih – an important figure in Persian history – helps us imagine a more diverse feminism and a more progressive Middle East. Her legacy is not limited to Bahá’ís but belongs to all of us.

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.

What has Hindu law ever done for women?

India’s long overdue Uniform Civil Code, a set of common personal laws for all citizens, guaranteed by its constitution, is under renewed debate. It should not be based on Hindu law.

Egyptian women: depression or oppression?

Women continuing to push for change in Egypt are bearing the psychological toll of a rigid post-revolution politics and society.

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.

Sharia, security and the church: dangers of the British Home Office Inquiry

Does the UK’s Sharia Review resemble the sharia ‘courts’: secretive procedures and discriminatory advisors? Are the Home Office and the Church ignoring conflicts of interest and evidence of discrimination?

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

The journal Feminist Dissent creates a space to interrogate the multi-faceted links between historical and resurgent religious fundamentalism and gender.

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.

Refusing to recognise polygamy in the West: a solution or a soundbite?

Polygamy in the UK and the West raises many questions and challenges: integration of migrant communities, ensuring adherence to State laws, the role of Sharia courts and balancing freedom of religion and gender equality.

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.

Islamist terrorism: chilling echoes of Pastor Niemoller

The Islamists have us all in their sights. We are all targets. It is incumbent upon us all to speak up. Being Muslim is not enough. Are you the right kind of Muslim in the eyes of the Islamists?

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.

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.

Syndicate content