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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

Your fatwa does not apply here

The UN Human Rights Council has appointed Karima Bennoune as Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights. Read articles by Karima on openDemocracy 50.50's platform, Frontline voices against Muslim fundamentalism.

Documenting women’s lives: mothers' names on marriage certificates

In England and Wales in the twenty-first century we continue to perpetuate a system that writes women out of our collective history, and we are all poorer for it.

"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. 

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.

Friendship and violence: the genius of Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante’s novels have become a word of mouth success, despite the Italian literary world’s snobbery, because they capture the complex inner world of female friendships and women’s experiences.

Mobilising for peace and freedom: from aspiration to lasting change

The 2015 WILPF manifesto outlines how those who choose peace over conflict must act, and recognises that negotiations on a treaty making transnational corporations accountable for violation of human rights is part of the way forward.  

Manic Pixies and Cool Girls: on female solidarity and the male gaze

Pop culture tropes of ‘the girl who isn’t like other girls’ might seem subversive but they reinforce old sexist ideas that women are frivolous and exist for the male gaze.

Unlimited parental leave: progress or PR coup?

The new Netflix employee perk doesn't stand up to scrutiny, but softens their brand.

Can Russia confront the horrors of its domestic violence epidemic?

With the murder of a pregnant woman and her six children, Russia’s domestic violence epidemic again briefly surfaces into headlines.  Perhaps one day these victims too can have their public monument. 

Women's working lives in the ‘new’ university

Is there room for any women other than the "exceptional woman", let alone women with children, in the new hyper-stratified university?

RIP NLP: Five lessons from the life and death of New Left Project

If we want a diverse and democratic media landscape, we need to figure out how to fund it.

Believing women's narratives in Sweden and Norway

Too often women's oppression is sidelined as a lesser cause, and women's experiences dismissed, as two cases in Sweden and Norway show.

Pirates of the European Union

Only when we approach gender equality mainstreaming in a more strategic way can we claim that gender equality is a fundamental principle of European Union Common Security and Defence Policy missions.

Cuba: through her eyes

What do Cuban women imagine for their country’s future? In the wake of recent reforms, Cyd Bernstein talks to four women leaders about feminism, culture and cultivating change.

Women's paid and unpaid work, and the colonial hangover

At the International Association for Feminist Economics conference, social scientists, researchers and economists agree that women's work is still undervalued globally, and dogged by an enduring subconscious colonial mindset.

Why are so many Syrian children being left stateless?

Syrian women advocates recognize the links between the crisis of statelessness and the lack of reproductive justice for women, and argue that control over their own fertility and legal status is paramount.

Haki Stërmilli’s 'If I Were a Boy': the first Albanian feminist manifesto

Haki Stërmilli 1936 novel If I Were a Boy portrays the contemporary problems of Albanian society that stem from a misogynistic mindset, and deserves to be (re-)read today.

Gender and tax justice

The heart of tax injustice is gender dominance, the language of secrecy, and an industry and culture which under free-market rules has normalised the subjugation and exclusion of women.

From Northern Ireland to Korea: the power of nonviolence and love in action

As thirty international women peacemakers prepare to cross the DMZ with women from North and South Korea, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire speaks in Pyongyang of the power of forgiveness.

NPT: nuclear colonialism versus democratic disarmament

A host of nuclear free states are claiming back their power to create the conditions for a much-needed legally binding agreement to prohibit nuclear weapons, moving beyond the NPT Review Conference.

"There’s nothing left" - women’s future under the Conservatives in the UK

With a Conservative victory in the UK election, even deeper cuts are looming for women already in poverty and at risk, and the suffering will become entrenched.

The masculinisation of complexity

You would think a peace movement would be the least patriarchal of all social movements but you can masculinise anything. Feminist understanding challenges what it really takes to make peace.

World disarmament? Start by disarming masculinity

Massive world military spending is driven by the profit motive of the arms industry and politicians’ weaponized notion of ‘security’. But women peace activists also hold militarized masculinity to account.

A new narrative on human rights, security and prosperity

It’s up to us to ‘reframe the narrative’ of development, to move beyond the historic thrust of capital and war and to say no impunity for the murder of Indigenous women. Jennifer Allsopp reports from WILPF's Centenary Conference in the Hague.

Speaking truth to power at the UN

"This may be the last time our voice is heard here…" excerpt from the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Statement to the UN‘s Conference on Disarmament. WILPF's centenary conference opens today in the Hague.

Creating peace: a manifesto for the 21st century

How does an international women’s organisation with a hundred year history put Mahatma Gandhi’s famous call to action into practice in 2015? Marion Bowman reports from the centenary congress of WILPF

Violence is not inevitable: It is a choice

In 1915 a thousand women met in the Hague to demand an end to war. A thousand women are doing so again this week. It is time the women were heard and their vision shared.

Why we need a feminist foreign policy to stop war

Feminist foreign policy is au courant, but what does it mean in practice? Foreign policy informed by feminist analysis must confront masculine hegemonies in state military-industrial complexes that fuel and fund conflicts.

Hidden women human rights defenders in the UK

Without recognising the work of women who seek to protect human rights domestically, the UK government risks seeing the activist’s role as a stage of international development rather than as a core function of democracy. 

Violence compared: rape in Turkey and India

There are striking similarities in the responses to rape and murder cases of women in India and Turkey: a predilection for punitive measures without addressing the root causes of violence.

The personal is political: the journey of a feminist slogan

All successful slogans are subject to misappropriation: it is a sign of their success. The personal is political – but mind the gap.

Men in charge? Rethinking authority in Muslim legal tradition

The new book Men in Charge? shows that the assumption that God gave men authority over women is a theological fiction that became a legal fiction, whose main function now is to sustain gender inequality. 

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