This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is a submissions editor at openDemocracy and a freelance journalist.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Women post-recession: moving towards insecurity

After the recession, the rise in casual and precarious contracts is entrenching gender inequality in the UK.

Those who believe in freedom: Yara Sallam

Yara Sallam is starting the second year of her sentence in Qanater Women's prison outside Cairo. She says, "I do not feel any regret or self-defeat, the prison is not inside me." 

Pirates of the European Union

Only when we approach gender equality mainstreaming in a more strategic way can we claim that gender equality is a fundamental principle of European Union Common Security and Defence Policy missions.

Cuba: through her eyes

What do Cuban women imagine for their country’s future? In the wake of recent reforms, Cyd Bernstein talks to four women leaders about feminism, culture and cultivating change.

Towards Plan F: planning for a feminist economy in the UK

Feminists must reject mainstream austerity rhetoric and challenge politicians to adopt an alternative 'Plan F' to bring about equality between women and men on the basis of a caring and sustainable economy.

Women's paid and unpaid work, and the colonial hangover

At the International Association for Feminist Economics conference, social scientists, researchers and economists agree that women's work is still undervalued globally, and dogged by an enduring subconscious colonial mindset.

Analysing Aaronovitch: a sceptical narrative

Prosecution and conviction rates for sexual crime are lamentably low in the UK. If David Aaronovitch cares about 'genuine abuse', why isn't this what worries him more? Part Two.

Jeju island and the war mindset in Asia and the Pacific

Jeju is called the Island of Peace, but in spite of seven years of constant large protests it's where the South Korean military has almost finished construction of a new naval base. 

Gender and tax justice

The heart of tax injustice is gender dominance, the language of secrecy, and an industry and culture which under free-market rules has normalised the subjugation and exclusion of women.

NPT: cornerstone of nuclear non-proliferation or stumbling block?

After the NPT Review Conference collapsed in disarray last week with disagreement over new proposals for a Middle East disarmament conference in 2016, humanitarian initiatives for a nuclear weapons prohibition treaty look like the only way forward.

From Northern Ireland to Korea: the power of nonviolence and love in action

As thirty international women peacemakers prepare to cross the DMZ with women from North and South Korea, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire speaks in Pyongyang of the power of forgiveness.

NPT: nuclear colonialism versus democratic disarmament

A host of nuclear free states are claiming back their power to create the conditions for a much-needed legally binding agreement to prohibit nuclear weapons, moving beyond the NPT Review Conference.

Where your conscience can take you: North Korea

On 24 May, thirty women peacebuilders crossed the De-Militarized Zone that separates Korean families. Ann Wright describes her journey from serving in the US Army to citizen diplomat walking for peace.

Hope's song: my companion in life's journey

On my way from Zimbabwe to Amsterdam I shared a seat with a man called Musi. He was curious about how I became a feminist and wondered if I was not borrowing western ideology...

"There’s nothing left" - women’s future under the Conservatives in the UK

With a Conservative victory in the UK election, even deeper cuts are looming for women already in poverty and at risk, and the suffering will become entrenched.

Libya: "Rejoicing at our bloody democracy"

For sustainable peace, the UN must refuse to sanction militarism as the default response to unwanted migration and invest in grassroots women and youth human rights defenders.

The masculinisation of complexity

You would think a peace movement would be the least patriarchal of all social movements but you can masculinise anything. Feminist understanding challenges what it really takes to make peace.

World disarmament? Start by disarming masculinity

Massive world military spending is driven by the profit motive of the arms industry and politicians’ weaponized notion of ‘security’. But women peace activists also hold militarized masculinity to account.

There are more of us who want peace than want the killing to continue

The ‘utopian’ slur against peacemakers is defeatist propaganda for pro-war, pro-militarisation and securitisation interests and the military-industrial complex. Marion Bowman reports from WILPF's Centenary Conference in the Hague.

A new narrative on human rights, security and prosperity

It’s up to us to ‘reframe the narrative’ of development, to move beyond the historic thrust of capital and war and to say no impunity for the murder of Indigenous women. Jennifer Allsopp reports from WILPF's Centenary Conference in the Hague.

The pacifist dilemma: women peacemakers’ responses to Islamic State

Can non-violent strategies defeat the new fascism of Islamic State and its allies? Women peace makers’ hopes and doubts recall the rift in the peace movement when Nazism threatened Europe.

Speaking truth to power at the UN

"This may be the last time our voice is heard here…" excerpt from the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Statement to the UN‘s Conference on Disarmament. WILPF's centeranry conference opens today in the Hague.

Women's power to stop war: rereading Virginia Woolf

Three Guineas was published in 1938 but it remains startlingly relevant. War will not end while women are kept out of power and while power is governed on the historic terms that men established.

Which British party is making the most meaningful commitment to women's issues?

As the British election approaches, political parties are trading in the discourse of ‘women’s issues’. But do any of the parties actually meaningfully address women’s rights and needs?

How land rights are politicising Cambodia's women

Land grabbing and forced evictions have created an activist movement among women who traditionally conform to strict gender roles.

Security is not just CCTV: valuing ourselves is security

It feels as if the entire world has been given over to the most perverse notions of 'safety'  that are really about death and destruction, cruelty and conflict, grandiosity and greed. Marion Bowman reports from the Nobel Women’s Initiative conference in the Netherlands.

Iraq's female citizens: prisoners of war

Iraqi woman human rights defender Yanar Mohammed spoke to Jennifer Allsopp at the Nobel Women’s Initiative conference about grass-roots responses to the atrocities women are facing under ISIS.

Women human rights defenders: reigniting the embers

The profile of today’s front line activist is different to that of the freedom fighter of old. We need to see her in her wholeness. Jennifer Allsopp reports from the Nobel Women’s Initiative conference in the Netherlands.

Mairead Maguire: breaking the silence on Palestine

Palestinian women human rights defenders and peace makers, in resisting the injustices being perpetrated upon their people, deserve our support and we must each do what we can to break the silence.

A tribute to Joan Kagezi: the murder of a human rights defender

Joan Kagezi was a lead prosecutor in high profile cases in Uganda, including against a former LRA commander and those accused of terrorism. She was shot dead in front of her children last month.

Creating peace: a manifesto for the 21st century

How does an international women’s organisation with a hundred year history put Mahatma Gandhi’s famous call to action into practice in 2015? Marion Bowman reports from the centenary congress of WILPF

Defending the Defenders: a daunting challenge

Women human rights defenders are under attack. The Nobel Women's Initiative conference convenes today to deepen the understanding of the risks, and to develop strategies to strengthen efforts to defend the defenders.

Violence is not inevitable: It is a choice

In 1915 a thousand women met in the Hague to demand an end to war. A thousand women are doing so again this week. It is time the women were heard and their vision shared.

At the margins of visibility: recognising women human rights defenders

Every small act that stands up to patriarchy or to inequality, whether it is asking to go to school, or refusing to marry the man her father chooses, is an act of women's human rights defense.

Women human rights defenders: protecting each other

With the continued failure of the UN to implement the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders twenty years after it was passed, women human rights defenders are still their own best support and protection network.   

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