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This week’s editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Same-sex marriage has become a political football in Italy's elections

The so-called centre-right coalition is talking tough against Italy’s LGBTQI and immigrant communities, attacking basic rights in the name of defending the “traditional family.”

Northern Ireland needs alternative visions of progressive, LGBTQ-inclusive peace

Many schools, workplaces, churches, and streets remain arenas of homophobic and transphobic discrimination and prejudice. Can there be peace without equality?

“Our strategy is visibility”: the fight for LGBT rights in Romania

Violence and anti-LGBT hate crime is on the rise in Romania, says activist Vlad Viski. But he and his colleagues refuse to stay silent.

How Romania became a battleground in the transatlantic backlash against LGBT rights

Romania decriminalised homosexuality in 2001. Today it is witnessing a backlash against LGBT rights, supported by US Christian conservatives.

Christian ‘legal army’ in hundreds of court battles worldwide

Women’s rights advocates say controversial US legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom is ‘exporting extreme ideologies worldwide’ against sexual and reproductive rights.

Northern Ireland police must stop intimidating equality activists

The force can't claim to be progressive whilst cracking down on those protesting hateful conservatism and oppressive, misogynistic laws.

I'm a trans teenager in Northern Ireland, where bigotry is taught at school

While LGBTQ+ rights groups are deemed “inappropriate” for educational environments, abusive and anti-choice activists are currently welcomed with open arms.

Tracking the backlash: why we're investigating the 'anti-rights' opposition

Growing and globalising networks of conservative and fundamentalist groups are pushing back against our sexual and reproductive rights. Help us investigate.

Can a feminist tech collective help end the silence around LGBTQ+ domestic abuse?

The Supernova Project is a new online platform that aims to provide crucial information and support to those in queer relationships.

Persecuted beyond borders: why Italy needs LGBT refugee shelters

LGBT refugees fleeing torture, violence and discrimination often find persecution has followed them to Europe. Reception centres are beginning to respond to urgent needs.

“It’s so taboo but we want it so damn bad”: introducing 50.50 columnists Tiffany Mugo and Claudia Torrisi

These 50.50 authors will delight and challenge us with monthly comment and analysis about sexuality in Africa, and reportage on intersecting forms of oppression in Italy.

"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.’

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.

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.

Lesbians at the heart of the movement to end men’s violence

Feminist lesbians have been passionate activists from the beginning of the movement against men’s violence and remain an inspiration for women to live independently of men.

Feminists and feminisms come in many forms: Suspend judgment!

The responses of feminist activists to the Suspend Judgement! campaign reveal the hidden hierarchies of power and exclusion we must confront. Part 2. Part 1.

Classificar corpos, negar liberdades

A classificação é um instrumento de opressão. Este artigo, que examina o abuso dirigido a Caster Semenya, antecipa o tema do Forum Internacional AWID (8-11 setembro): “Integridade corporal e liberdades”. Español English

Clasificar cuerpos, negar libertades

La clasificación es un instrumento de opresión. Este artículo, que examina el abuso dirigido a Caster Semenya, anticipa el tema del Foro Internacional AWID (8-11 setiembre): “Integridad corporal y libertades”. Português English

Classifying bodies, denying freedoms

From sex to race, classification is a tool of oppression. Abuse directed at Caster Semenya lies at the centre of the AWID Forum’s theme ‘Bodily Integrity and Freedoms’. Português Español

Trans women and feminism: the struggle is real

At the centre of the troubled relationship between trans women and feminists are the questions of who gets to be a woman and who gets to call themselves a feminist.

UN resolution 2242: gender, generation, and counter terrorism

Key issues that remain unresolved within the Women, Peace, and Security agenda include: the nature of gender, the advisability of including counter terrorism efforts, and generational gaps within the movement.

"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

Sexualized violence in Iraq: how to understand and fight it

Sexualised and gender-based violence in Iraq, highlighted in recent weeks in relation to ISIS atrocities, has been at the heart of sectarian and authoritarian politics and developments since 2003. How can we talk about it and mobilise against it?

A safe space to reclaim ‘normal’

When a distorted ‘normal’ oppresses our daily lives and experiences, Ché Ramsden says that feminist conferences like Feminism in London 2014 are not only useful for education and discussion, planning and strengthening activism, but are excellent forms of respite from mainstream misogyny.

HIV: a call for solidarity with the transgender community

With the prevalence of HIV 50 times higher than that of the general population, societal acceptance and family support are crucial to the emotional wellbeing and health outcomes of LGBT people. Cecila Chung tells her own story and calls for transgender sisterhood at the AIDS 2014 Conference

Strengthening the anti-fascist movement in Greece

An anti-fascist festival in Athens earlier this month brought activists from across Greece and Europe together to build solidarity and co-ordinate resistance against Golden Dawn. Niki Seth-Smith reports on the debates on sexism, homophobia, fascist attacks, gender roles, and much more.

Egypt: a space that isn't our own

Last month a young woman was mob attacked on Cairo University campus. Socially and culturally constructed circles that control our lives seem to be tightening at a time when individuals are trying their hardest to crack them open. Zainab Magdy explores whether women will ever find a space that is their own.

Elegy for queers for economic justice

Ynestra King laments the untimely closing of a visionary US queer social justice organization, and reflects on its contributions to the US left and the reasons for its demise.

Feminist Africa: putting Africa’s feminist thinking on the intellectual map

This month oD 50.50's platform Our Africa launches a special collaboration with Africa’s leading gender studies journal Feminist Africa. Series editors Jessica Horn and Simidele Dosekun explain the thinking behind it.

The 'equality' that serves social injustice

Equality talk, with its roots in liberalism, defines those who aren’t considered equal as lacking.  A more radical approach is needed to tackle systemic and entrenched social injustice.

Constitutional rights, sexual rights, and "morality" in India

In the aftermath of the recent rulings in India re-criminalising homosexuality, Poonam Joshi reports on the critical role that grassroots LGBTI activists play in building public support for LGBTI rights in Karnataka

India: Whose law is it anyway ?

Cultural justifications for upholding Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalizes homosexuality are untenable, given the colonial antecedents of the legislation, the cultural heterogeneity of the populations it was imposed upon, and the liberal sexual mores which prevailed among many sections historically.

What does Croatia’s same-sex marriage referendum mean?

The results of a referendum on the definition of marriage in Croatia were disappointing for those who hoped EU accession indicated a shift towards tolerance in the country. But a conservative-created wedge issue might be the spark for progressive Croatians to push for more long-term change.

Remembering our dead: global violence against trans people

In most countries, data on murdered trans people are not systematically produced. Meaningful research requires government backing, but the lack of recognition, through ignorance or malice, for trans people and the violence they face, remains a massive barrier to its commission

Can conversations about women in pop move beyond a binary of agency or exploitation?

The feminist debate after Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance rarely touched upon the issue of race.  A comparison with Rihanna’s ‘Pour It Up’ video illuminates the dominant tropes being played out in pop culture.

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