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This week’s editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Five inspirational feminists you should know and honour today

Documenting the lives of departed feminists, and sharing their stories, honours their memories and inspires future generations.

Remembering murdered activists is important – but not enough

My organisation publishes annual, online tributes to activists who have passed away. What we really need is for states to guarantee their safety.

How India's Café Sheroes fights back against acid attacks

Run by survivors of acid attacks, the café is part of broader campaigns for women’s access to public places and freedom of expression.

‘Shame has to switch sides’ – Feminist activist Inna Shevchenko on #MeToo

The Femen 'partisan' talks about #MeToo protests and why a recent Roman Polanski celebration in France was “an insult to all women”.

Living without men: women-only organising is as old as time

As long as patriarchal societies dominate, we shouldn’t be surprised to see women turning to single-sex spaces for safety and solidarity.

Young women mobilise against ‘revenge porn’ and online abuse

Survivors of cyber attacks and young feminist digital rights activists tell of the damage done by this violence – and why they’re fighting back.

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.

Harvey Weinstein: Italian media coverage of the scandal has been predictably outrageous

The Italian media has failed, once again, to focus on systems of power and abuse. Actress Asia Argento has been treated particularly harshly. 

Look that monster dead in the face: tackling domestic violence in lesbian relationships

Art can create safe spaces for queer women to address often-ignored domestic violence. This is important to end the silence, and to heal.

‘Swept under the carpet’: violence against Zimbabwe's women journalists

Women journalists in Zimbabwe have been beaten and harassed by state security. The male-dominated media largely ignores these abuses.

We need personal, everyday action to end violence against women

Never laugh at a rape joke, speak out against lower wages for women. Don’t underestimate the power of everyday activism to uphold justice.

How to spend €500 million: women’s rights groups on Europe’s UN grant

We welcome this week’s historic funding announcement for work to end violence against women and girls. But there are important caveats.

The long road to gender equality in southeast Asia

Singapore may soon elect its first female president – but the struggle for gender equality in the region is far from being won.

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. 

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