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This week's editor

Tom Rowley is editor of oDR.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Stay Woke: sustaining feminist organising in an uncertain world

Autonomous feminist spaces must be guarded jealously. They are an important lifeline for feminists to re-charge and breath in a world that remains hostile to women’s freedom. We must stay woke.

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.

Young feminist movements: the power of technology

Young feminists are coming of age in a tech-focused and tech-literate world and using technology to organize locally and globally. What does this mean for the future of gender equality?

Building a bridge to the future: towards a feminist UN

What will it take for the world’s women to shift the UN away from its paradigm of patriarchy and gender inequality and implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. Part one. Part two. Part three.

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.

Myth-busting in defense of grassroots women crisis responders

False claims that deny the impact of grassroots women's crisis responses are diverting much needed resources away from the very people making the best use of them.

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.

Ending HIV: UN slogans vs the voices of civil society

Last week’s UN meeting exposed the deep divide about whether HIV responses should commit to respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights rather than blaming those who are most affected.

For domestic abuse survivors, Kosovo’s justice system can be fatal

Proponents of family values preach respect for mothers, but expect those same mothers to simply endure abuse within their homes in silence - normalizing violence for generations to come.

Ending HIV: ideology vs evidence at the UN

This week’s negotiations over the UN’s Political Declaration Ending AIDS are rife with circular debates, and sex, gender and sexuality are flashpoints of polarization. 

Transnational marriage abandonment: A new form of violence against women?

Transnational marriage abandonment lies at the intersect of immigration and patriarchal control, allowing abusers and states to enjoy impunity for violations committed against women in transnational spaces.

Rojava revolution: on the hoof

Rojava is a fast moving, dynamic place where things change by the minute. What are the material conditions which support this woman-centred revolution ? Part 5 of 50.50's series  Witnessing the revolution in Rojava, northern Syria.

Sexual violence and the culture of impunity in Nagaland

Perpetrators of sexual violence escape justice, while their victims are trapped between exhortations by women's advocacy groups not to ‘suffer quietly' and the social stigma attached to sexual violence.

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.

'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.

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