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This week's editor

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Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

'Not a tomboy, a lesbian or a Hijra but a transman'

‘Whenever laws and bills in India are passed regarding transgender rights, transmen are almost never called to the discussion table. So what can I, a transman expect? Sometimes I feel I am in ‘No Man's Land’.

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 exemplifying how to put intersectionality into practice.

Still no woman at the helm of the UN

António Guterres's election as the new UN Secretary-General is a stark illustration of how male-dominated decision-making means that female leadership is not just rare, but virtually inconceivable.

Redressing the UN's gender gap: how do the SG contenders compare?

Following an informal vote held at the UN in New York today, the UN Security Council will vote by acclamation tomorrow to choose Portugal’s António Guterres as the next UN Secretary-General. 

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.

To build feminist futures, suspend judgment!

As feminist thinkers and activists, we must tackle not only the systemic discrimination embedded in the world outside, but the often unconscious or invisible biases that we ourselves have internalized. Part 1. Part 2.

Imagine a feminist village of the future

On the last day of the AWID International Forum in Brazil, more than two thousand women came together to help imagine a feminist future, and to look at the hard realities of getting there.

'Feminist Futures': activists from across the globe gather in Brazil

The AWID International Forum in Bahia has started. We meet some of the 2,000 women brought together under the 'Feminist Futures' banner, including a lesson from Tanzania in how to employ a holistic approach.

Classificar corpos, negar liberdades

A classificação é um instrumento de opressão. Este artigo, que examina o abuso dirigido a Caster Semenya, antecipa o tema do Forum Internacional AWID (8-11 setembro): “Integridade corporal e liberdades”. Español English

Our movements and collective struggles thrive despite backlash

Activists across the world are re-imagining their strategies, and engaging in cross-movement collaboration, in response to a global crackdown. Español Português

Clasificar cuerpos, negar libertades

La clasificación es un instrumento de opresión. Este artículo, que examina el abuso dirigido a Caster Semenya, anticipa el tema del Foro Internacional AWID (8-11 setiembre): “Integridad corporal y libertades”. Português English

Classifying bodies, denying freedoms

From sex to race, classification is a tool of oppression. Particularly examining abuse directed at Caster Semenya, this article looks ahead this week’s AWID International Forum’s theme ‘Bodily Integrity and Freedoms’. Português Español

Trans women and feminism: the struggle is real

At the centre of the troubled relationship between trans women and feminists are the questions of who gets to be a woman and who gets to call themselves a feminist.

The women of the rivers and forests have feminist debate?

Beyond the reach of the internet and television in northern Brazil, feminist activism in the forests, on the boats and in the camps is sowing the seeds of a revolutionary and decolonial movement. Read Part 1.

Between tradition and feminism: modern Amazonas

“We have our world and we are building feminism into it.” In the last two decades there has been a rebirth of the Amazons in the struggle for women's rights. Part 1. Part 2.

Feminist Futures: building collective power for rights and justice

In times of unprecedented repression and violence, AWID’s upcoming International Forum aims to transform diverse sites of activism into a powerful interconnected web of new alliances.

A revolution is not a dinner party

Does the word “revolution” mean the same thing to the Kurdish liberation movement and to American leftists who supported Bernie Sanders? A little history...

Is a feminist United Nations possible in our lifetime?

Hopes for a female, feminist UN Secretary-General look increasingly unlikely, but there are creative ideas circulating for feminist system reforms that would spur progress from the bottom-up.

Reclaiming Black women’s history: the Montgomery bus boycott 60 years on

With police violence against Black communities giving rise to the #Blacklivesmatter campaign, anniversaries of civil rights victories are an opportunity to bring to light the invisible actors behind historic moments. 

Justice and accountability for war related sexual violence in Sri Lanka

As the testimonies of survivors of sexual violence in Sri Lanka’s long war enter the public domain and the government designs transitional justice mechanisms, is an end to impunity in sight?

Questioning rape in China

China is witnessing more and more spontaneous protests and online discussions against rape and the deeper structural issues that lie behind questions of sexuality.

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?

Rhetoric meets reality: ending HIV and AIDS

Ending AIDS by 2030 is redundant rhetoric. It is meaningless without investment in community participation. Code red for action.

A deadly politics of wealth: femicide in India

Census data shows that poverty and illiteracy are not key factors in India’s female genocide as many assume. The survival of girls is determined by a patriarchal politics of wealth control.

The diary of an AIDS activist: lost to temper and hungry for hope

“The real reason we haven’t beaten this epidemic boils down to one simple fact: we value some lives more than others”  -  Charlize Theron, speaking at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban.

Still no country for women? Double standards in choosing the next UN Secretary-General

Six of the twelve candidates for the job of UN Secretary-General are women, but in the first informal vote at the Security Council only one woman made it to the top five. Why ?

The distance travelled: Beijing, Hillary, and women's rights

Hillary Rodham Clinton will need to listen to the voices of women working at grassroots on the frontline, and be prepared to use her power, should she win, to defend the human rights defenders.

Abortion and contraception in India: the role of men

The callous attitude of Indian men that  ‘she can always abort’ in cases of an unwanted pregnancy caused by failure to use a condom needs to be tackled at the root.

Why the backlash against dowry laws in India?

The backlash against gender-just law which seeks to protect women against dowry violence reveals the full extent of the patriarchal mindset that underpins the criminal justice system in India.

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.

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