only search

This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Radio Mewat: radio by the people, for the people and of the people

The transformative power of community radio for young women in India is up against a central government ban on the stations broadcasting news and discussing politics. Radio Mewat is staying on air.

Táhirih unveiled: poet, theologian and revolutionary

Táhirih – an important figure in Persian history – helps us imagine a more diverse feminism and a more progressive Middle East. Her legacy is not limited to Bahá’ís but belongs to all of us.

Resurgent Sikh fundamentalism in the UK: time to act?

Growing confidence among resurgent Sikh fundamentalist networks in the UK was evident in recent protests against inter-faith marriage. A desire to control Sikh women’s relationship choices is a key focal point for their mobilisation.

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.

Still no woman at the helm of the UN

António Guterres's election as the new UN Secretary-General is a stark illustration of how male-dominated decision-making means that female leadership is not just rare, but virtually inconceivable.

Redressing the UN's gender gap: how do the SG contenders compare?

Following an informal vote held at the UN in New York today, the UN Security Council will vote by acclamation tomorrow to choose Portugal’s António Guterres as the next UN Secretary-General. 

To build feminist futures, suspend judgment!

As feminist thinkers and activists, we must tackle not only the systemic discrimination embedded in the world outside, but the often unconscious or invisible biases that we ourselves have internalized. Part 1. Part 2.

Nobel Women’s Initiative at 10: When We Are Bold

“It is time to stand up, sisters, and do some of the most unthinkable things. We have the power to turn our upsidedown world right.” – Leymah Gbowee

Gloria Steinem: toward a feminist foreign policy

Feminism, when you look at it as Gloria Steinem does, as the recognition of the full humanity and full equality of both men and women, is peace work

Whose work was the inspiration for the first nuke-free country?

New Zealand was the first country in the world to pass national nuclear-free legislation. Marilyn Waring reflects on how Dr. Helen Caldicott’s influence culminated in the passage of the cornerstone of New Zealand’s foreign policy.

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.

Imagine a feminist village of the future

On the last day of the AWID International Forum in Brazil, more than two thousand women came together to help imagine a feminist future, and to look at the hard realities of getting there.

'Feminist Futures': activists from across the globe gather in Brazil

The AWID International Forum in Bahia has started. We meet some of the 2,000 women brought together under the 'Feminist Futures' banner, including a lesson from Tanzania in how to employ a holistic approach.

Women’s equality will not come after the environmental revolution

Climate and environmental impacts are ravaging our planet, and women and marginalized groups are among those most affected.

Our movements and collective struggles thrive despite backlash

Activists across the world are re-imagining their strategies, and engaging in cross-movement collaboration, in response to a global crackdown. Español Português

The women of the rivers and forests have feminist debate?

Beyond the reach of the internet and television in northern Brazil, feminist activism in the forests, on the boats and in the camps is sowing the seeds of a revolutionary and decolonial movement. Read Part 1.

Between tradition and feminism: modern Amazonas

“We have our world and we are building feminism into it.” In the last two decades there has been a rebirth of the Amazons in the struggle for women's rights. Part 1. Part 2.

Stay Woke: sustaining feminist organising in an uncertain world

Autonomous feminist spaces must be guarded jealously. They are an important lifeline for feminists to re-charge and breath in a world that remains hostile to women’s freedom. We must stay woke.

Young feminist movements: the power of technology

Young feminists are coming of age in a tech-focused and tech-literate world and using technology to organize locally and globally. What does this mean for the future of gender equality?

A revolution is not a dinner party

Does the word “revolution” mean the same thing to the Kurdish liberation movement and to American leftists who supported Bernie Sanders? A little history...

Building a bridge to the future: towards a feminist UN

What will it take for the world’s women to shift the UN away from its paradigm of patriarchy and gender inequality and implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Is a feminist United Nations possible in our lifetime?

Hopes for a female, feminist UN Secretary-General look increasingly unlikely, but there are creative ideas circulating for feminist system reforms that would spur progress from the bottom-up.

Reclaiming Black women’s history: the Montgomery bus boycott 60 years on

With police violence against Black communities giving rise to the #Blacklivesmatter campaign, anniversaries of civil rights victories are an opportunity to bring to light the invisible actors behind historic moments. 

Questioning rape in China

China is witnessing more and more spontaneous protests and online discussions against rape and the deeper structural issues that lie behind questions of sexuality.

Still no country for women? Double standards in choosing the next UN Secretary-General

Six of the twelve candidates for the job of UN Secretary-General are women, but in the first informal vote at the Security Council only one woman made it to the top five. Why ?

The distance travelled: Beijing, Hillary, and women's rights

Hillary Rodham Clinton will need to listen to the voices of women working at grassroots on the frontline, and be prepared to use her power, should she win, to defend the human rights defenders.

Choose a woman to lead the UN!

UN leaders and experts have sent an Open Letter to each member of the UN Security Council asking for the selection of a woman and gender equality champion as the next UN Secretary-General.

A lone raised hand: who will become the next UN Secretary-General ?

Six women and six men are competing to become the next UN Secretary-General. As the drama unfolds, it’s still not clear who will make the Security Council’s shortlist when it votes this week.

Feminist Dissent: why a new journal on gender and fundamentalism?

A new journal, Feminist Dissent, aims to create a space to interrogate the multi-faceted links between historical and resurgent religious fundamentalism and gender.

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. Part one. Part two. Part three.

Whitewashing Sharia councils in the UK?

In an Open Letter to Theresa May, hundreds of women’s human rights organisations and campaigners warn against a further slide towards privatised justice and parallel legal systems.

Myth-busting in defense of grassroots women crisis responders

False claims that deny the impact of grassroots women's crisis responses are diverting much needed resources away from the very people making the best use of them.

The next UN Secretary-General: administrator, figurehead, or leader?

Public interviews for the job of the next UN Secretary-General are continuing in New York. Female candidates are speaking of leadership, while male candidates speak more of administration and management.

Rojava revolution: how deep is the change?

Is optimism in the future of revolutionary change misplaced in a region torn apart by war and a society where patriarchy has been so entrenched?  Part 6 of Witnessing the Rojava revolution.

Choosing the next UN Secretary-General: real change ahead?

For the first time in the UN’s history, the global public is having the chance to hear about the individual agendas and the visions of all the nominees for next UN Secretary-General.

Syndicate content