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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

'The Devil is in the Details': development, women's rights and religious fundamentalisms

Dealing with the escalation of violence against women across the world requires a wider adoption of a feminist approach to working at the nexus of development, religious fundamentalisms and women’s rights.

Rojava revolution: It’s raining women

In less than four years, the women’s umbrella organisation, Kongira Star, has set up an autonomous, grassroots, democratic structure which has resulted in shifting patriarchal mindsets and reversing gender discriminatory laws. Part 3.

Does the caste system really not exist in Bengal?

Bengali middle class society is seen as casteless because caste violence lacks visibility. One woman’s story of working as a teacher shows how caste intersects with gender to reproduce discriminatory practices.

Yazidi women after slavery: trauma

Mental health care and support services are in short supply for the traumatized women who have escaped from ISIS slavery to the camps around Dohuk, exacerbating their long term trauma.

Legumes vs. labour rights: how Indian women pay for the cost of dal

A cooking project in Asia’s biggest informal settlement brings into focus the millions of workers denied a share in the world’s seventh-largest economy.

Rojava’s commitment to Jineolojî: the science of women

Travelling in Rojava is to witness the ways in which the different commitments to the revolution present a conundrum. How can one system satisfy the vast differences in human aspirations? Part 2. Part 1.

What is driving the increase in child marriage in Bangladesh?

Human rights activists in Bangladesh say that if draft legislation being considered by the government is passed it will enable parents to forcibly marry off girls as young as 14.

UN CSW: debating women’s reproductive rights or a “culture of death” ?

In a cynical ploy, conservative religious groups based in the Global North now frame reproductive rights advocacy in the Global South as the neocolonialist imposition of a uniquely western value system.

UN CSW: ending impunity for gender-based crimes against women refugees

The CSW has called on UN member states to "address sexual and gender-based violence as an integral and prioritized part of every humanitarian response". Civil society groups expected more.

UN CSW: the way to empower women is to use CEDAW Article 5, not the CSW

The most effective international mechanism to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment is not the cumbersome UN CSW, it’s CEDAW, and it’s time to use it to make governments accountable.

UN CSW: still failing to count all women

When will the CSW agree that without counting everyone, transwomen, lesbians and bisexuals included, gender equality will remain out of reach?

Seeking liberation, seeking comfort: women migrants in the UK

The UK Home Office continues to indefinitely detain people who have committed no crime, including pregnant women. Asylum seekers and refugees lead solidarity groups in the movement to end detention.

Rape testimony: pitting truths against rape culture

Women of the World (WOW) created a public, cultural space where women’s stories of survival and their manner of telling them expanded their particular narratives into the universal and political.

'Showing up': Intersectionality 101

Patriarchy, racism and capitalism are connected. Yet without an intersectional approach, movements forget marginalised people. Addressing Southbank Centre's WOW Festival, Kimberlé Crenshaw insisted that solidarity from allies is an entitlement.

Berta’s struggle is our global struggle…

Berta Cáceres’s assassination is a painful reminder of the way in which a trinity of corporate, government and military interests creates a tapestry of capitalist power structures, making for an often deadly struggle.

Millions rising to stop male violence

Annual Million Women Rise marches, started in 2007 by Sabrina Qureshi, give a platform and visibility to women worldwide at the forefront of experiencing, and combatting, violence against women and children.

US Presidential race: the feminist generation gap

Why is there strong support for Bernie Sanders from young feminists and a tepid response to Hillary Rodham Clinton, a lifelong feminist? Why has a feminist generational gap emerged in 2016?      

CSW: groundbreaking US support for sexual rights

With the 60th UN Commission on the Status of Women underway in New York, the decision by the US to support sexual and reproductive health and rights - at last - presents a real opportunity to move the agenda forward.

Madam Secretary-General?

With pressure mounting for the next UN Secretary General to be a woman, is it too much to ask that she also be a feminist?

Guilty: what the Sepur Zarco trial means for women’s rights worldwide

Survivors of wartime sexual violence in Guatemala have secured a landmark victory in the Sepur Zarco trial: a win for international human rights in a domestic court.

The global pulse of young feminists organising

Young feminists are organising across movements in an intersectional way, locally, nationally and regionally, and they are using artivism and technology as core tools in their work. 

Will the sky fall when big NGOs move south?

INGOs moving their HQs to the Global South will not alter the management problems with international development and human rights work, manifest in elitist decision-making and unequal resource distribution.

The confinement of Eve: resolving Ebola, Zika and HIV with women’s bodies?

There are parallels between three major newsworthy viruses, Ebola, HIV and Zika, in relation to the global public health response and persistent and often toxic gender stereotypes. Español

Breaking Free: a women's movement in Indian universities

Female students in Delhi are protesting against their hostels resembling prisons - arguing that restricting women’s freedom is not a way to ensure safety: it is society that must be made safe for women.

The fateful marriage: political violence and violence against women

Pervasive and diverse, instances of violence against women can only be fully comprehended in the political contexts that give them purpose and meaning.

World Courts of Women: against war, for peace

At the World Court of Women meeting held in Bangalore witnesses to violence and injustice highlighted political lessons and resistance, asking that we all take responsibility to oppose the unending wars against women.

Japan's military sexual slavery: whose agreement?

The South Korea-Japan agreement on Japan’s military sexual slavery was announced on 28 December, 2015, but it ignores the  efforts by the victim-survivors movement to seek justice for their suffering. 

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.'

Romani women of the Balkans: battling intersectional oppression

Centuries old oppression founded on gender, race, cultural group, and socio-economic class is being challenged by Romani women who are combating their public and private marginalization through initiatives embedded within the Roma identity.

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.

Welcoming gays into the church: voices from India

Following Pope Francis' appeal to welcome gays into the church, Indians of diverse backgrounds and faiths reacted with bewilderment, threats, and in due course support.

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.

COP21: overarching narratives, real lives

 “There are overarching narratives, and then there are people just trying to live their lives within them.” Does COP21 speak to the most vulnerable people trying to survive climate change now?

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?

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