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This week's editor

VM

Our guest editor, Valsamis Mitsilegas, director of the Criminal Justice Centre at Queen Mary University of London, introduces this week’s theme: Privacy and Surveillance in 2016.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The fateful marriage: political violence and violence against women

Pervasive and diverse, instances of violence against women can only be fully comprehended in the political contexts that give them purpose and meaning.

Japan's military sexual slavery: whose agreement?

The South Korea-Japan agreement on Japan’s military sexual slavery was announced on 28 December, 2015, but it ignores the  efforts by the victim-survivors movement to seek justice for their suffering. 

Mona Eltahawy and sexual revolution in the Middle East

'Traumatised into feminism,' Mona Eltahawy speaks of her decision to unveil and understanding that 'Muslim women’s bodies are the medium upon which culture is engraved, be it through headscarves or cutting.'

Romani women of the Balkans: battling intersectional oppression

Centuries old oppression founded on gender, race, cultural group, and socio-economic class is being challenged by Romani women who are combating their public and private marginalization through initiatives embedded within the Roma identity.

Gender violence in Spain: from electoral tool to decisive issue ?

As political parties in Spain struggle to form a government this week their commitment to dealing with violence against women is being put to the test.

When does the violation of women's bodies become a "red line"?

If people divide their understanding of militarized violence into normal and not normal, acceptable and not acceptable, it makes a terrible kind of sense: violence against women has been "normalized".

Gender lenses and refugee assistance

Gender matters greatly in any form of third party assistance. Refugee camps are not sanctuaries from violence if they are not safe for women and girls.

John Kerry, where are women’s voices in the Syria peace talks?

The US may be tempted to congratulate itself for wrangling Russia to the table for the meeting on Syria’s peace talks. Yet an indispensable party is missing: Syrian women.

A brand of manliness that is bad for the world

While women’s movements fight for empowerment, what is now destroying men is, paradoxically, the expectation to be powerful. Agnish Ray reports from London’s Being A Man festival. 

Global Femicide Watch

Dubravka Šimonović, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, explains to Yakin Erturk why she is calling on all States to participate in the newly established global 'Femicide Watch'.

Are children sacrificed in the interests of an abusive father's right of access?

Spanish law recognises children as direct victims of gender violence, but an abusive father's right of access on visits sanctioned by the judiciary means children are being killed by their estranged fathers. In Spanish.

¿Se sacrifican las criaturas en beneficio de los derechos de los hombres maltratadores?

La legislación española reconoce a las criaturas como víctimas directas de la violencia de género; sin embargo, el derecho a las visitas que la judicatura concede abusivamente a los padres que les violentan, dejan a éstas en riesgo de poder ser asesinadas. In English.

The Day You Catch the Fish: speaking out on domestic abuse

Violence is manifested in so many ways, yet it is always the violence that comes within the domestic space that leaves many women silenced, especially when the violence leaves no physical scars.

Welcome to our house: women living with HIV

The largest survey on women living with HIV, commissioned by the World Health Organisation, has revealed the stark truth about the gender-based violence and mental health challenges that positive women face.

16 Days: cutting Black and minority ethnic women's organisations

The EU Victims Directive comes into force this month. Will it prevent the further decimation of Black and minority ethnic organisations offering specialised services to women facing violence in the UK? 

16 Days: asset stripping the women’s sector in the UK

The quality of service in the independent women's sector is no guarantee against the future as the British government continues its assault on specialist women’s services protecting women from violence. 

Violence against women in Spain: who cares?

Ahead of the election all the political parties commented on the level of violence against women, but public concern remains low. Is this the wake up call?

Ghana: women at war in a country at peace

The absence of war does not necessarily imply peace for women. The binary opposites of war and peace obscure the continuum of violence women experience as a result of patriarchal gender structures.

Women cyclists are dying, why are we still talking about their clothes?

Cycling deaths are gendered and women's cycling needs must taken into account by planners and campaigners.

Sea change for gender equity in Canada: great smoke, how much fire?

Justin Trudeau has pledged to open a national inquiry into the staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls. What are the prospects for broader gender equity in Canadian society?  

Narendra Modi, gender violence, and the Hindu Right's agenda

India is facing a relentless nightmare of violence against minorities, Dalits and those who dissent from the agenda of the Hindu Right. Gender violence is central to this agenda.

Oscar Pistorius: shooting to kill

Can a white man be morally absolved if it is decided that he meant to shoot an ‘imaginary black intruder’ rather than his girlfriend? Apartheid and patriarchy underpin Pistorius' trial.

Ireland: policing domestic violence in times of austerity

The difficulties presented by the under-resourced Gardaí in policing domestic violence, and the resulting lamentable status of domestic violence policies in Ireland were highlighted by last week's tragedy. 

Defending ourselves: defining the rights of girls

Exploited in the media, sanctioned by the state, and controlled by religious fundamentalism, decisions about the bodies of young women and girls seem to be everyone's business but their own.

Lifting the ban on women’s shelters in Iraq: promoting change in conflict

There is a crisis-level need for shelter in Iraq, so why does the Iraqi government maintain a policy that stymies critically needed temporary housing and threatens the safety of those willing to provide it?

Implementing Resolution 1325: the role of National Action Plans

Much has been gained by the women who secured SCR 1325. Seven resolutions on, these resolutions and their intent now sit firmly within global policy on peace and security.

Migration: the clock is ticking in Asia too

While the headlines focus on migration to Europe, a crisis is unfolding in South East Asia as the horrors of human trafficking and exploitation mount. It's imperative that South East Asia produces a regional response.

Corbyn and housing justice in Britain

The election of the new Labour leader is a time for guarded hope but not for a change of tactics. Local campaigns must unite in a national movement.

The politics of human rights and the United Nations

The one simple yet unanswered question in the United Nations versus Anders Kompass affair is - why? Is it because he did not accept the politicisation of human rights ?

Can Russia confront the horrors of its domestic violence epidemic?

With the murder of a pregnant woman and her six children, Russia’s domestic violence epidemic again briefly surfaces into headlines.  Perhaps one day these victims too can have their public monument. 

Jeremy Corbyn: Labour’s gift to British women?

Jeremy Corbyn's Working with Women policy document has been well received by feminists, but the silence on the intersectionality of religious fundamentalism and women’s oppression, and on prostitution, raises questions.

'Disappearing' sex workers in the Amnesty International debate

An Amnesty draft policy to protect women in sex work has attracted a fierce debate, but sex workers' voices are often absent in the opposition arguments.

Amnesty International: should sex work be decriminalized?

As Amnesty International meets to consider a resolution that calls for the decriminalization of sex work, those in favour argue it would be a step forward for the rights of sex workers.

Believing women's narratives in Sweden and Norway

Too often women's oppression is sidelined as a lesser cause, and women's experiences dismissed, as two cases in Sweden and Norway show.

AIDS targets: the fear factor

HIV is not just a health issue but a multi-sectoral issue that requires many different players. Is the UNAIDS HIV '90-90-90' fast-track initiative in Uganda achievable?

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