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This week's editor

VM

Our guest editor, Valsamis Mitsilegas, director of the Criminal Justice Centre at Queen Mary University of London, introduces this week’s theme: Privacy and Surveillance in 2016.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Who’s missing from Syria’s peace talks?

Those organising Syria’s peace talks must go beyond merely ticking the gender representation box. It's essential to move towards real inclusion of women peace advocates and larger civil society.

Mona Eltahawy and sexual revolution in the Middle East

'Traumatised into feminism,' Mona Eltahawy speaks of her decision to unveil and understanding that 'Muslim women’s bodies are the medium upon which culture is engraved, be it through headscarves or cutting.'

Gender violence in Spain: from electoral tool to decisive issue ?

As political parties in Spain struggle to form a government this week their commitment to dealing with violence against women is being put to the test.

An intimate intifada

Recognizing and understanding Palestinian women’s unprecedented engagement in the latest wave of violence in Israel and the West Bank is a small but important step in ending this new uprising.

When does the violation of women's bodies become a "red line"?

If people divide their understanding of militarized violence into normal and not normal, acceptable and not acceptable, it makes a terrible kind of sense: violence against women has been "normalized".

Gender lenses and refugee assistance

Gender matters greatly in any form of third party assistance. Refugee camps are not sanctuaries from violence if they are not safe for women and girls.

John Kerry, where are women’s voices in the Syria peace talks?

The US may be tempted to congratulate itself for wrangling Russia to the table for the meeting on Syria’s peace talks. Yet an indispensable party is missing: Syrian women.

Child sexual abuse: failing another generation of children?

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner reveals that in England 1.3 million will suffer sexual abuse in their childhood. What’s it going to do about this most secret of crimes?

BAM! OUCH! Being a man

A festival in London allowed men to see other men outside the confines of a narrowly defined masculinity that limits their ability to navigate their emotional lives. Ironically, the event was held together by women.

A brand of manliness that is bad for the world

While women’s movements fight for empowerment, what is now destroying men is, paradoxically, the expectation to be powerful. Agnish Ray reports from London’s Being A Man festival. 

Global Femicide Watch

Dubravka Šimonović, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, explains to Yakin Erturk why she is calling on all States to participate in the newly established global 'Femicide Watch'.

The Day You Catch the Fish: speaking out on domestic abuse

Violence is manifested in so many ways, yet it is always the violence that comes within the domestic space that leaves many women silenced, especially when the violence leaves no physical scars.

Politicking periods

Irish women are tweeting details of their menstrual cycles to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, to protest the sense of entitlement the Irish state demonstrates towards Irish womens' bodies.

16 Days: asset stripping the women’s sector in the UK

The quality of service in the independent women's sector is no guarantee against the future as the British government continues its assault on specialist women’s services protecting women from violence. 

Elona Kastrati: fame, feminism, and sanitary pads

Nineteen-year-old Elona Kastrati became internet-famous overnight, after she hung sanitary pads covered in feminist statements in a German city centre on International Women’s Day. Then she moved to her parents’ homeland – Kosovo.

Women, peace and security: the UN's rhetoric-reality gap

UN Security Council resolution 2242 passed with overwhelming support. but effective implementation was immediately called into question when the Russian Ambassador then spoke out against the resolution’s key provisions.

The end of China’s one child policy: the right to reproduce and the right to live well

China's one-child policy fundamentally changed the most intimate aspects of Chinese lives. It's removal last month may have been more welcome if structural forces did not remain that continue to stifle the ability of individuals and families to build lives of their own choosing.

UN calls for women’s engagement in countering violent extremism: but at what cost?

Women are already on the frontlines of violent extremism. Engaging with them is not about instrumentalizing them but about building and recognizing their agency.

Life with a dissident in China: searching for ‘horizontal freedom’

The role of women in house churches in China reminds us of both the social malleability of religion and the complexity of female agency.

Oscar Pistorius: shooting to kill

Can a white man be morally absolved if it is decided that he meant to shoot an ‘imaginary black intruder’ rather than his girlfriend? Apartheid and patriarchy underpin Pistorius' trial.

The promise of gender parity: Turkey’s People’s Democratic Party (HDP)

The Turkish HDP's egalitarian gender ideology played a key role in the election of a record number of women to parliament in June's election. Can these gains be sustained in the political turmoil ahead? 

Men and Lads: Playboy nods to the cultural revolution

Lad mag circulations have been diving and several have closed. The debate about sexual objectification of women isn’t just a joust between men and women, it is an argument between men.

Has Ukraine's 'Revolution of Dignity' left women behind?

Ukraine’s Euromaidan revolution called for dignity and justice, but almost two years later gender equality is not a priority on the Ukrainian political agenda – not even for female lawmakers.

Preventing violent extremism: a noose that is both too tight and too loose

The British government's programme to counter violent extremism hands religious fundamentalists the gift of a narrative of victimhood, narrowing the political space for secular feminists and others to challenge fundamentalism.

Fierce Attachments: feminist memoir and female relationships

The re-issue of Vivian Gornick’s memoir ‘Fierce Attachments’ highlights the rich tradition in feminist writing of taking the complexities of female relationships seriously.

Defending ourselves: defining the rights of girls

Exploited in the media, sanctioned by the state, and controlled by religious fundamentalism, decisions about the bodies of young women and girls seem to be everyone's business but their own.

On the frontline: women building peace

Gender is a matter of international peace and security. The anniversary of SCR 1325 provides a platform to reclaim the actions and power of women to shape global peace and security in new ways.

The hopes of the pro-Kurdish HDP in Turkey in spite of turmoil and violence

Is Turkey poised on the brink of the violent conflict of the 90s? Or does the entry of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) into Parliament offer shoots of hope for an alternative path?

"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. 

Faultlines, refugees, and the law

The refugee crisis in Europe has challenged many accepted truths, and shown that the solution lies in applying international human rights law to override political manoeuvring.

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.

The refugee crisis: demilitarising masculinities

Photos emerging from the borders of Europe weave a new narrative around what it means to be vulnerable, to be a man, to say no to war and to be a refugee.

Jeremy Corbyn and women: a matter of policy not appointment

Media responses have pointed to the lack of women in the new shadow cabinet, but the policy response to austerity will have more impact on women's lives in the UK.

India's wandering women with cameras

The feminist documentary film festival in Mumbai, ‘Wandering Women’, opens up questions of how gender identity in Indian contexts can be explored through film.

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