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MM

Mairi Mackay is openDemocracy’s senior editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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.

Islamist terrorism: chilling echoes of Pastor Niemoller

The Islamists have us all in their sights. We are all targets. Being Muslim is not enough. Are you the right kind of Muslim in the eyes of the Islamists?

Piece of Silk: "When story-telling is a matter of life and death"

The play, Piece of Silk, is a powerful study of the experiences of women survivors of domestic abuse - an experience that knows no ethnic, national or class boundaries. 

The next UN Secretary-General: administrator, figurehead, or leader?

Public interviews for the job of the next UN Secretary-General are continuing in New York. Female candidates are speaking of leadership, while male candidates speak more of administration and management.

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.

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.

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.

Furthering freedom of religion and belief in Muslim-majority countries

Ballot boxes before a culture of toleration for diversity of beliefs takes root in the minds of people can make things worse. Secularization and freedom of religion are a precondition of democracy.

From Pondi to Paris: Pondicherry's marriage market

Marriages between Pondicherrians who took French nationality in 1962, and those who chose to remain Indian, reveals a complicated range of ‘marriages of interest’ taking place today. Français

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: engaging men and boys in ending violence against women as allies not protectors

Without a feminist lens, the expanding efforts to work with men and boys to promote gender justice are often patronizing and reinforce the idea that women need protection by men.

A woman’s place? The British House of Commons

The House of Commons exists to represent the people, yet the history of what constitutes ‘people’ has enshrined it as one of the UK’s most ‘pale, male and stale’ institutions.

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.

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.'

A brand of manliness that is bad for the world

While women’s movements fight for empowerment, what is now destroying men is, paradoxically, the expectation to be powerful. Agnish Ray reports from London’s Being A Man festival. 

Global Femicide Watch

Dubravka Šimonović, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, explains to Yakin Erturk why she is calling on all States to participate in the newly established global 'Femicide Watch'.

International Rights of Nature Tribunal: Pachamama vs ‘macho papas’

Parallel to COP21, the International Rights of Nature Tribunal convened in Paris. The ‘climate crimes’ it heard were deeply connected to other systemic injustices: patriarchy, racism and capitalism.

Are children sacrificed in the interests of an abusive father's right of access?

Spanish law recognises children as direct victims of gender violence, but an abusive father's right of access on visits sanctioned by the judiciary means children are being killed by their estranged fathers. In Spanish.

¿Se sacrifican las criaturas en beneficio de los derechos de los hombres maltratadores?

La legislación española reconoce a las criaturas como víctimas directas de la violencia de género; sin embargo, el derecho a las visitas que la judicatura concede abusivamente a los padres que les violentan, dejan a éstas en riesgo de poder ser asesinadas. In English.

The Day You Catch the Fish: speaking out on domestic abuse

Violence is manifested in so many ways, yet it is always the violence that comes within the domestic space that leaves many women silenced, especially when the violence leaves no physical scars.

Nepal: the struggle for equal citizenship rights for women

Nepal's new constitution was widely celebrated as progressive, but restrictions on a woman's right to pass on citizenship to her child mean that thousands of Nepali women remain second-class citizens.

Violence against women in Spain: who cares?

Ahead of the election all the political parties commented on the level of violence against women, but public concern remains low. Is this the wake up call?

Ghana: women at war in a country at peace

The absence of war does not necessarily imply peace for women. The binary opposites of war and peace obscure the continuum of violence women experience as a result of patriarchal gender structures.

The end of China’s one child policy: the right to reproduce and the right to live well

China's one-child policy fundamentally changed the most intimate aspects of Chinese lives. It's removal last month may have been more welcome if structural forces did not remain that continue to stifle the ability of individuals and families to build lives of their own choosing.

The promise of gender parity: Turkey’s People’s Democratic Party (HDP)

The Turkish HDP's egalitarian gender ideology played a key role in the election of a record number of women to parliament in June's election. Can these gains be sustained in the political turmoil ahead? 

Your fatwa does not apply here

The UN Human Rights Council has appointed Karima Bennoune as Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights. Bennoune is the author of the book, Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight 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.

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