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This week's editor

Manuel Serrano

Manuel Serrano is Junior Editor at DemocraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Violence against women and extremism are intrinsically linked: overlooking this puts rights at risk

Religious groups we work with, in the fight against extremism, must have a commitment to universal rights – as well as peace.

Inciting soldiers to rape in the Philippines

Duterte offered immunity to soldiers that commit rape in the current anti-terror campaign in Mindanao. It could make him liable for indictment for war crimes.

Fighting violence against women: what happens when an organisation fails to follow its values

This is the anonymised true story of the premature death of one women's organisation. Its experience is not unique, and we must do better.

“Men have no idea what we go through”: ending violence against women in the Pacific Islands

Leaders of Pacific Island countries have introduced new initiatives to tackle violence against women – but they're largely missing the mark.

Lessons from farmers and indigenous women: cultivate democracy

Learning to live in harmony with the land is co-constituent to human rights activism. Jennifer Allsopp reports for 50.50 from the second day of the 2017 Nobel Women's Initiative conference. 

How to fight gun violence in Trump’s America

We must double down on grassroots, community activism. Even with Trump in office, women can and must organize to end gun violence. This article is part of 50.50's coverage of the 2017 Nobel Women's Initiative conference.

"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?

Conflict in Syria: stop instrumentalising women’s rights

The international community is not listening to us. It must depoliticise the fight against sexual violence and humanise the countering violent extremism strategy.

Why the old Holloway Prison in north London should become a new women's building

This former site of state violence against women must be reclaimed – for the collective good.

Gender-just laws versus “divine” law in Sri Lanka

The heated debate over reforming Muslim personal law in Sri Lanka has resulted in an unprecedented mobilization of Muslim women across the country calling for progressive and gender-just laws.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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