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This week’s World Forum for Democracy 2017 editors

Georgios Kolliarakis

Georgios Kolliarakis political scientist, is a senior researcher at the University of Frankfurt.

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Introducing this week’s theme: Media, parties and populism.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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.

Taking a comprehensive view of sexual violence

It has been 9 months since the iconic Delhi gang rape. Even as women’s groups struggle to retain the focus on violence against women, we must extend this focus to all women - especially women marginalised on the basis of their sexuality, say Geetanjali Misra and Vrinda Marwah

Will homophobia rain off Serbia's parade?

Gay pride week begins September 21, but it is unclear whether the Serbian government is willing to expend the political capital to secure it, despite external pressure.

Gender, mental health, and intersectionality

Last month a pilot project was launched to add mental health nurses to police call-outs in parts of the UK.  This step will be most effective if the scheme is sensitive to the interplay between gender and identity in mental health issues.

What is "same-sex" marriage?

Whilst LGBTQ rights activists welcomed the recent rulings by the US Supreme Court on "same sex" marriage, Lauren Suchman questions the media's conflation of gender, sex and sexuality in reporting these cases, and argues for  "same-sex marriage" to be recognised as "non-heterosexual marriage"

From the shadows into the light – and back again

Poet and performer Olga Krause traces her life as a lesbian in Russia—from Soviet times, when the word itself was barely known, through increasing acceptance, and back to a newly violent and hostile environment. 

LGBT violence in the Balkans

Throughout the Balkans, LGBT advocates and their supporters face violence, cancelled Pride parades, and unresponsive or disrespectful police. What hope is there for sexual minorities in the region?

"Beyond the Fragments": I’m a socialist feminist. Can I be a radical feminist too?

The authors of the re-launched Beyond the Fragments take a feminist approach to healing a divided left. They put women’s exploitation by capital firmly on the agenda. But where is the challenge to patriarchy?

Trans women in feminism: nothing about us without us

In a reply to Rahila Gupta, Celeste West argues that we can’t have meaningful feminism or a meaningful democratic project without ensuring that people have a chance to speak for themselves

Transgender: the challenge to feminist politics

There are so many battles yet to be won by feminists that we must not be distracted by internal schisms. If we can identify a shared political goal with trans women, says Rahila Gupta, we should be able to end this polarisation.

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