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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Feminist movements lead the way in fight against repressive states

Despite pressures from society and states alike, feminist movements are growing around the world. They know how to challenge restrictions in creative and innovative ways.

Is Liberia's Sirleaf really standing up for women?

President Sirleaf's promise to campaign for women candidates in Liberia's upcoming elections comes too little, too late.

"The revolution will not be NGO-ised": four lessons from African feminist organising

African feminist movements are diverse. But we can, and must, learn from decades of transformational organising on the continent.

The politics of nudity as feminist protest – from Ukraine to Tunisia

Frontline activists, including women who use their topless bodies as political statements, are gathering in London to deplore threats to free expression worldwide.

#OpérationRobe: confronting everyday sexism in France

In 2012, then-minister Cécile Duflot was cat-called in parliament. Last week, the dress she wore made a comeback in a new campaign.

"This is a war": Inside the global "pro-family" movement against abortion and LGBT rights

At a recent summit in Budapest, anti-abortion celebrities and anti-gay rights activists gathered with their political allies waging a ‘spiritual war’ for the ‘traditional family.’

Books for bleak times: a reading list from six British feminists

We asked Caroline Criado-Perez, Sarah Ditum, Helen Lewis, Nimco Ali, Joanna Walsh, and Bidisha which books inspire and empower them during bleak political times.

How do we fight anti-rights fundamentalism at the United Nations?

An extract from the first report of a new initiative tracks how fundamentalist groups have embraced the UN as a site to foster conservative social change.

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.

There are more women at Sri Lanka’s universities – but they remain spaces dominated by men

Now is not the time for complacency. Universities should produce critical thinkers – and questioning gendered norms and expectations is a crucial part of this.

"Visionary and creative resistance": meet the women challenging extractivism – and patriarchy

Environmental degradation is deliberate, violent and patriarchal. From Turkey to Guatemala, women are on the frontlines of resistance.

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.

Uncomfortable assumptions about security: the UK vote on support for Saudi Arabia

Pervasive and problematic assumptions about the UK’s security lie at the heart of parliament’s recent decision to continue to support Saudi Arabia, despite accusations of war crimes in Yemen.

Gender and fundamentalism: when religion muscles in on development

The truism that there cannot be real development without women’s participation needs a caveat: women’s rights cannot be achieved while religious forces are involved in development.

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.

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?

Trump's slap in the face of Lady Liberty

Will women be turned away from the UN Commission on the Status of Women, to be held in March, in New York? The world's global institutions must fight the 'Muslim Ban', starting with the United Nations.

Women storm the capitol

Drawing from the ground, SASHALYNILLO captures the raw energy of the Women's March on Washington.

Is the Indian law on domestic violence fit for purpose?

In the first of this three part series, we examine the effectiveness of one of the major planks of the domestic violence law in India: the post of Protection Officers.

Are we all beheaded Copts?

Is the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians by ISIS in Libya associated with a broader political project of cleansing the region of religious minorities? Would this not deserve demonstrations of solidarity?

A long road: domestic violence law in China

After 20 years of campaigning by women’s rights activists, China now has its first domestic violence law. The challenge ahead is to make it work to guarantee the safety of women and children.

Hisland

This land is Hisland: the role of sexism in the US elections.

I Love Dick: what makes a feminist classic?

Chris Kraus's feminist classic I Love Dick, reissued in paperback this year, confronts the reader with complex questions about what it means to be a woman artist and a sexual woman in love with a man.

The fraught road to justice: Sri Lankan victims of sexual violence

As more women testify about their experience of sexual violence in Sri Lanka the path to redress does not become smoother. What stands in the way of a just response to these wrongs?

What has Hindu law ever done for women?

India’s long overdue Uniform Civil Code, a set of common personal laws for all citizens, guaranteed by its constitution, is under renewed debate. It should not be based on Hindu law.

The dishonourable killing of a Pakistani social media celebrity

Qandeel Baloch’s murder fuelled the debate over women’s sexuality, their lives, and their deaths. Her ‘honour’ killing could bring about changes in Pakistan’s legal structure.

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. It is incumbent upon us all to speak up. 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.

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