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This week's editor

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Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

No Women’s Day without refugee women

Hand-in-hand with Trump, Theresa May is not merely playing to an anti-migrant populist crowd but helped to create it. This system is working as intended, but it must be disrupted.

Lessons from Syria on women's empowerment during conflict

Syrian women will be the pillars of any future democratic process. Their efforts deserve support from national and international actors.

Feminist pacifism or passive-ism?

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. In the face of increasing femicide, sexual violence and rape culture, we need to confront the question of women’s self-defence.

Berta Vive! Lessons from Honduras on resistance

A year on from the assassination of indigenous leader Berta Caceres, five Honduras leaders give key lessons on carrying forward the global fight.

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?

Internally displaced women: social rupture and political voice

Displacement is social as well as geographical. Women’s welfare and survival depends significantly on their social relationships; displacement destroys this resource.

India's female genital mutilation: a thousand-year-old secret

So little was known, until recently, about the secretive practice of FGM in a small  Muslim community that India is not even on the UN’s list of FGM countries.

Escaping domestic violence: ‘according to the law, you are not here’

Many women survivors of violence in Europe cannot access support services because of their migration status. The right to live free from violence should be based on presence in a territory not legal status.  

Investigating Sri Lanka’s ‘nude’ culture

Learning from schoolgirls and boys about blackmail, ‘nudes’ and cyber exploitation in Sri Lanka.

The Indian judiciary are paper tigers

In the final of a three-part series dealing with the law on domestic violence in India, we focus on the failures of a patriarchal judiciary to protect women adequately in cases of domestic violence. 

A jail, not a shelter: women’s refuges in India

On the tenth anniversary of a major law dealing with domestic violence in India, we explore how the poor quality of refuge provision impacts on women’s choices. (Part 2 of a three-part series.)

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.

Seeking justice for rape by the state in Bastar, India

For tribal women living in the Bastar region of central India, sexual abuse at the hands of security forces has become routine. The state government has now been challenged to take responsibility.

The Sharia debate in the UK: who will listen to our voices?

Over 300 abused women have signed a statement opposing Sharia courts and religious bodies, warning of the growing threat to their rights and to their collective struggles for security and independence.

The voice of Berta Cáceres has become the voice of millions

Graffiti on the walls in Honduras - Berta Vive! Teenagers chanting as they march - Berta Caceres Flores, sown in the heart of all rebellions !  Berta didn’t die, she multiplied.

To exist is to resist: Million Women Rise

March 11th 2017 will mark the tenth anniversary of Million Women Rise's annual procession and rally to call an end to all forms of male violence against all women. It is more important than ever this year to show our resistance.

Suffragists, actresses and activists do it: 100 years of self-defence

Wherever women are confronted with violence, they try to protect themselves. When this resistance becomes collective, women's self-defence has at times been at the forefront of feminist efforts.

16 Days: survivors and activists at the centre

The field of violence against women is an argumentative space. 16 Days offers an opportunity to reflect, to be inspired and moved by women who have survived, our tireless campaigners and re-sisters. 

"We are not the women with black eyes."

Women who have survived abuse are changemakers. It’s time to involve companies in creating a paradigm shift in labour integration, to stop the double victimisation and social exclusion of survivors

Are universities preventing violence against women?

Sexual harassment of women students is rife and violence against women in universities is commonplace. Are universities reflecting cultural norms of violence against women instead of shaping new norms?

'All day, everyday': where is the protection against violence in schools and universities?

The scale of harassment and violence in schools means girls and boys need more than sex and relationships education. It’s time we used human rights law.

Femicide in Mexico and Guatemala

Feminists in Mexico and Guatemala working on femicide also use the concept of ‘feminicide’ to draw attention to state complicity in the killings of women. Español

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.

What will it take to end honour based violence in the UK?

‘Honour killings’ represent the tragic consequences of the failure to tackle honour based violence. Greater state action in supporting black feminist leadership, and ensuring protection and provision is essential.

Mass rapes to mass protests: violence against women in 2016

Impunity for violence against women remains a massive problem. Donald Trump hasn’t helped.

When a Man Kills a Woman

Across everything that divides societies, we share in common that men’s violence against women is normalised, tolerated, justified - and hidden in plain sight.

Since I gave you a phone it’s not rape

As evidence of UN peacekeepers’ sexual violence against Black African women and girls grows, media reporting and research reinterprets this as ‘transactional sex’, through the logic of colonialism.

Transforming a victim blaming culture

Media discussions of male violence against women focus on the actions of the victim rather than the perpetrator. How can we challenge this narrative using survivor’s testimony without putting them at risk of online harassment?

Erdogan's war on women

Kurdish women in one of the strongest and most radical women’s movements in the world are taking a battering from the Turkish state with impunity - as Europe looks the other way

One woman’s brush with Sharia courts in the UK: "It ruined my life forever"

“My daughter and I appeared before the Sharia court at Regent's Park mosque in London. They were not interested in anything we had to say, the whole process was shocking.”

Honduras: the battle to protect women human rights defenders

Protection of women human rights defenders must be based on recognizing not only their existence, but also their contribution to creating better societies.

Repeal the Eighth: putting intersectionality into practice

A long-established conservative media frames the terms of abortion politics in Ireland. The pro-choice activism challenges dominant discourses with the inclusivity and diversity of the movement demonstrating intersectionality in practice.

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?

A life of hope lived in defiance of violence: Rebecca Masika Katsuva

“They think when they’re raped that their lives are shattered. But we’d like them to know that it’s not the end of the world" - Rebecca Masika Katsuva. (1966 - 2016)

 

Refugee women in the UK: Pushing a stone into the sea

From personal experience I know that arrival in the UK for asylum seekers does not signal safety, but reform is a ‘chaser game’: refugee women are pressuring the Home Office to improve decision making and end detention, says Beatrice Botomani.

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