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This week’s front page editor

Walid el Houri
Walid el Houri is lead editor of North Africa West Asia

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Girls at Dhabas: challenging issues of safety, or ‘respectability’ in urban Pakistan?

“You need to understand,” I told the reporter. “These are baby steps, but important steps, for fuller participation in the public sphere.”

Feminist bots vs right-wing trolls: Brazil’s gender justice movements cross new frontiers

Abortion has long been criminalised in Brazil. It is an issue that many have all but given up on – except for feminist movements.

#IBelieveHer protesters face backlash after Belfast rape acquittals

A gruelling rape trial ended in the acquittal of rugby players, prompting online outrage, offline protests – and a backlash from lawyers and men’s rights activists.

The Backlash podcast episode 2: "you can't eat a condom"

Anti-choice activists at the United Nations argue that rural women need food, not reproductive choice. But unsafe abortions kill women.

How the UN women’s talks failed to call out corporate power – letting down our human rights defenders

Last month’s Commission on the Status of Women talks failed to tackle corporate impunity, despite increasingly recognised risks to women human rights defenders.

‘She could have been our Martin Luther King Jr’ – tribute to Marielle Franco

The city councilwoman advocated for the rights of the most oppressed Brazilians. This is why people around the world are mourning and protesting her death. Español

#MeToo in Japan: 'I was told not to bring shame on the country, with my story’

Journalist Shiori Ito spoke about her own experience of sexual assault in 2017 – a year marked by allegations against powerful men. Then came the backlash.

Thanks to social media, do teenage girls like Ahed Tamimi now have the power to influence wars?

Social media has enabled girls and young women to influence contemporary conflicts in new ways, according to 'War in 140 Characters' author David Patrikarakos.

How an indigenous woman left her mark on a tumultuous presidential campaign in Mexico

Marichuy didn’t gather the necessary number of signatures to run for president, but that hasn’t stopped a movement’s campaign for political representation. Español

Video: feminist activists speak out against corporate impunity

Human rights abuses. Plundered resources. #Feminists4BindingTreaty explain why corporations must be held accountable for their impacts around the world.

Will reactionary delegations torpedo UN talks on rural women?

At the Commission on the Status of Women, commitments to rural women’s empowerment are under threat. Can new, progressive alliances block advances by reactionary delegations?

‘We won’t give up’: 25 years of feminist resistance to the war on women’s bodies in Poland

In 1993, the Polish government took away our right to abortion – starting a war on women’s bodies which continues to this day.

A tribute to the fearless Laura Lee: freedom fighter for sex workers’ rights, and my friend

Laura Lee died on 7 February 2018. She was a leading activist who campaigned fearlessly for the decriminalisation of sex work in the UK.

The Backlash podcast episode 1: women and the far right

We talk to three women who know more about the far right than most: councillor Jolene Bunting in Northern Ireland, researcher Marilyn Mayo in the US, and Akanksha Mehta at the University of Sussex.

Divisive populists are a “main obstacle” to women’s rights

“What populists are really afraid of is pluralism” says FEMEN activist Inna Shevchenko, who argues that democracy and feminism are interlinked.

Has Trump’s White House ‘resurrected’ Army of God anti-abortion extremists?

Christian extremism as a motivator for violence is often overlooked, while clinics providing abortion services are facing growing threats.

Why we’re Right: young women on the UK’s growing right-wing scene in their own words

Rejecting feminism and the political left that has apparently neglected them for too long, four young women explain why they turned right. RU

Golden Dawn Girls documentary gives new voice to women in Greece's far-right elite

Why would women connected to leaders of the extreme nationalist party invite documentary cameras into their homes, around their dinner tables, and inside party headquarters? RU

Why are women joining far-right movements, and why are we so surprised?

Women’s ‘shocking’ participation in far-right politics has received much media attention. But is this a new trend, or have we been here before?

What’s attracting women to Myanmar’s Buddhist nationalist movement?

Amid Myanmar’s transition towards democracy, a dangerous Buddhist nationalist movement is on the rise, and women are playing a key role.

How the Italian media have helped CasaPound ‘glamourise’ fascism

Some reporters have dangerously framed this violent movement and its female leaders as ‘beautiful,’ ‘clean-faced,’ and attractive to voters. RU

How the Women’s March defied Trump’s populism

The largest single-day protest in US history was also the first mass social movement response to Trump’s election. And it was a women’s initiative.

We need to talk about how we learn to accept our own oppression

The more women stand up against bullies and harassment in our personal lives, the less we will tolerate them in our political lives too.

How women are building feminist human security in the Americas

Across the region, women are forging alternative paths to real peace and security, rejecting militarisation and violence. They do this at great personal risk. Español

Where are the investigative journalists challenging patriarchy?

Amid growing threats to our sexual and reproductive rights, and enduring inequality, discrimination and gender-based violence, we need fearless feminist investigative journalism now. Apply for 50.50's inaugural feminist investigative journalism fellowships.

Solicita una beca de periodismo de investigación feminista de la sección 50.50 de openDemocracy

Necesitamos tu ayuda para rastrear la reacción contra los derechos sexuales y reproductivos. Solicita las becas inaugurales de periodismo de investigación feminista de 50.50. English

Apply for a 50.50 feminist investigative journalism fellowship

We need your help to track the backlash against sexual and reproductive rights. Apply for 50.50's inaugural feminist investigative journalism fellowships.

The UN secretary general isn’t yet what feminists were looking for

António Guterres showed real leadership on gender equality in 2017, but his first year in office fell short of our hopes for transformative change.

Has rape become a weapon to silence atheists in Bangladesh?

“There is no place for me in Bangladesh," says a young woman blogger who fled the south Asian country in 2017 following a gang rape.

How women migrant workers defy ‘social control’ with everyday resistance

Women migrant workers face extreme forms of social control in Saudi Arabia. One Sri Lankan woman shares her story of everyday resistance despite serious constraints.

2017 in feminist protests: in pictures

Women around the world led protests in 2017 for our rights and against threats from everyday sexism to femicide.

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.

Investigative journalist Jeta Xharra: challenging politicians and patriarchy in the Balkans

Reporter Jeta Xharra talks about misogyny in journalism, and how she uses her live TV show to challenge politicians on gender inequality.

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.

Women’s voices must not be ignored in business and human rights talks

The corporate rush for land and resources in the Global South has gender-specific impacts on women, who are routinely excluded from decision-making.

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