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This week’s editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Will the UN secretary-general send misogynistic heads rolling?

With his new strategy to achieve gender parity within United Nations’ staff, has Antonio Guterres revived the organisation’s “lost agenda”?

How to spend €500 million: women’s rights groups on Europe’s UN grant

We welcome this week’s historic funding announcement for work to end violence against women and girls. But there are important caveats.

The long road to gender equality in southeast Asia

Singapore may soon elect its first female president – but the struggle for gender equality in the region is far from being won.

Pakistan’s jirgas: buying peace at the expense of women’s rights?

Why are foreign donors so enthusiastic about alternative dispute mechanisms when they deliver second class justice for women?

Poem: For the mamas on the frontlines

"I said, if mamas don’t fight for the children, then who will?" Helen Knott performed her poem at the 2017 Nobel Women's Initiative conference. Catch up on 50.50's coverage.

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.

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. 

A feminist revolution demands climate justice

To change everything, it takes everyone, and to fight oppression, we must fight it in all forms, at all times. This article is part of 50.50's coverage of the 2017 Nobel Women's Initiative conference. 

Women fight back: from survive to thrive

In the Trumpian world writ large, the feminist struggle is more acute than ever. 13-16 May, the Nobel Women’s Initiative brings activists to Germany to strategise about advancing women’s rights while opening democratic space.

Monsters, jealousy and “sick love” — how the Italian media covers violence against women

Statistics give partial pictures of gender-based violence in Italy – but the language used to cover such violence can be even more misleading.

How Rojava-inspired women's councils have spread across Europe

Could this little-known system provide a way forward for real democracy – from the bottom up – in our failing neoliberal political systems?

The things I would tell you: British Muslim women speak out in new anthology

Edited by Sabrina Mahfouz, this timely collection of essays, plays, short stories and poetry celebrates the creativity and diversity of British Muslim women.

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.

Why the old Holloway Prison in north London should become a new women's building

This former site of state violence against women must be reclaimed – for the collective good.

Older women living with HIV in the UK: discrimination and broken confidentiality

Women accessing HIV care services in the UK report being told to use separate cutlery, being refused help to shower, and having visitors being told by care workers not to associate with them.

Gender-just laws versus “divine” law in Sri Lanka

The heated debate over reforming Muslim personal law in Sri Lanka has resulted in an unprecedented mobilization of Muslim women across the country calling for progressive and gender-just laws.

How will President Trump’s administration affect women and girls across the world?

Alongside this year’s UN CSW, we asked women doing gender work across the globe how US President Donald Trump’s administration might affect their region.

'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.

The new UN secretary general is poised to show the world what a feminist looks like

There has been real progress at this year's UN Commission on the Status of Women, and the new Secretary General has asked women around the world to "keep our feet to the fire". 

Without global solidarity the women’s movement will collapse

Borders are closing across the world, blocking women from the Global South both from seeking refuge, having a voice and working on global gender justice.

Who runs the world? Girls! Not at the UN CSW

At this year's UN Commission on the Status of Women, the empowerment of girls is getting more attention than ever before. But the outcome document must demand that girls get to speak for themselves.

PR, profit and ‘empowering women’ in the garment industry

How can a global garment value chain that relies on the systemic devaluation of female labour be expected to fulfil promises of empowerment for women informal workers? It can’t. Here’s why.

Nagaland and the fight for a women's quota

Tribal bodies dominated by men, protesting against a 33 percent reservation for women to participate in public office, have brought parts of Nagaland to a standstill.

Queer and trans issues are sidelined again at the United Nations CSW

The language of sexual orientation and gender identity remains absent from the draft conclusions of the Commission on the Status of Women, despite progress made by LBTI advocates.

Indigenous women brave the storm to begin talks at UN CSW

Despite the winter storm that shut down other events at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the event on eradicating violence against indigenous women and girls was packed.

No borders on gender justice

As the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) takes place in New York, gender justice advocates from around the world are uniting around the following principles.

Will Nepal give equal citizenship rights to women?

Nepali women are treated as second-class citizens, due to discriminatory nationality law. 

No Women’s Day without refugee women

Hand-in-hand with Trump, Theresa May is not merely playing to an anti-migrant populist crowd but helped to create it. This system is working as intended, but it must be disrupted.

Time for a Fifth World Conference on Women?

Not holding a fifth UN world conference in 2015 has left a vacuum, a dangerous thing when patriarchal ethno-nationalists are colonizing public space. It is time to insist that international human rights institutions deliver for women.

Berta Vive! Lessons from Honduras on resistance

A year on from the assassination of indigenous leader Berta Caceres, five Honduras leaders give key lessons on carrying forward the global fight.

Should domestic abuse have its own law?

In the UK, there is no specific offence for 'domestic violence'. Is the law failing women seeking justice?

The right kind of money: Part 3 on funding women's rights

Mama Cash explores how funding women and girls translates (or doesn’t) into money for feminist movements. The final of this three-part series highlights how funding can reach women activists.

Collaborations: Part 2 on funding women's rights

Mama Cash explores how funding women and girls translates (or doesn’t) into money for feminist movements. The second of three, this article examines the new landscape of feminist collaborations.

Quantity and quality: Part 1 on funding women’s rights

The first international women’s fund explores how funding women and girls translates (or doesn’t) into money for feminist movements. Part 1 of 3, this article defines quality in funding.

Women on the front at Raqqa: an interview with Kimmie Taylor

What is the reality of war like for the women of Rojava as they advance on Raqqa? Kimmie Taylor from Britain is on the frontline and puts us in the picture.

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