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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.

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.

Northern Ireland police must stop intimidating equality activists

The force can't claim to be progressive whilst cracking down on those protesting hateful conservatism and oppressive, misogynistic laws.

Sexual harassment at work: Italy misses out on Weinstein-inspired moment of reckoning

Instead of opening a conversation about workplace sexual harassment, the Italian debate has focused on shaming those who come forward.

Hong Kong democracy activist Agnes Chow: “it's never easy to fight for what we believe in”

Founding member of the Demosistō political party talked to World Forum for Democracy youth delegates about the importance of social movements and direct action.

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.

Tracking the backlash: why we're investigating the 'anti-rights' opposition

Growing and globalising networks of conservative and fundamentalist groups are pushing back against our sexual and reproductive rights. Help us investigate.

Young feminists: the future belongs to us, not transnational corporations

Corporate impunity impacts young women and girls disproportionately. Young feminists must join the growing mobilisation for a UN treaty on transnational corporations and human rights.

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. 

How anti-abortion extremists are exploiting #BlackLivesMatter to vilify African-American women

Fighting anti-choice campaigns requires more than a gendered approach – reproductive justice demands direct anti-racist work too.

‘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.

Will the UN secretary-general send misogynistic heads rolling?

With his new strategy to achieve gender parity within United Nations’ staff, has Antonio Guterres revived the organisation’s “lost agenda”?

Have women’s rights institutions been ignored again?

The European Union’s announced €500 million for work to end violence against women and girls. This should strengthen, rather than bypass, existing women’s rights institutions.

Conflict prevention: will the United Nations return to its roots?

The secretary general is an advocate for reform. But change will not be easy and the case of Bosnia shows how complex peacebuilding can be.

Feminist movements lead the way in fight against repressive states

Despite pressures from society and states alike, feminist movements are growing around the world. They know how to challenge restrictions in creative and innovative ways.

Is Liberia's Sirleaf really standing up for women?

President Sirleaf's promise to campaign for women candidates in Liberia's upcoming elections comes too little, too late.

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.

Show me the money: the fight for funding and accountability for women’s rights

Aid donors, governments and the United Nations have made many commitments to gender equality. Their actions have been less impressive.

“It’s so taboo but we want it so damn bad”: introducing 50.50 columnists Tiffany Mugo and Claudia Torrisi

These 50.50 authors will delight and challenge us with monthly comment and analysis about sexuality in Africa, and reportage on intersecting forms of oppression in Italy.

Depoliticised and unsustainable: Jessa Crispin on why she no longer calls herself a feminist

Why I Am Not a Feminist author argues that feminism has lost touch with its politically radical roots.

It's up to you: why neoliberal feminism isn't feminism at all

Mainstream feminism in the US is easily digestible and always subordinate to demands of neoliberal economics. As a result it is fatally weakened.

What is ‘femonationalism’?

Academic Sara Farris talks about the 'instrumentalisation' of migrant women in Europe by right-wing nationalists – and neoliberals.

Horn of Africa: there are no quick fixes in ‘countering violent extremism’

An effective response to violence and harmful ideologies is important. But projects are failing to adequately engage with root causes.

The silencing of Leila de Lima – Duterte’s “first political prisoner”

The Philippines senator’s detention is emblematic of ‘sneaking authoritarianism’ amid the president’s bloody war on drugs. From jail, she says: “My case is a test”. 

Brexit: where were women’s voices?

Recent creative writing and films feature women’s voices on Brexit, many of whom explore the paradox of migrants voting to leave the EU.

Pakistan’s jirgas: buying peace at the expense of women’s rights?

Why are foreign donors so enthusiastic about alternative dispute mechanisms when they deliver second class justice for women?

A fatwa against sexual violence: the story of a historic congress of female Islamic scholars

Can women interpret Islamic law? Scholars who think so recently gathered in Indonesia, where fatwas were also issued against child marriage and environmental degradation.

In pictures: female FARC fighters' daily lives in a demobilisation camp

“Welcome to a territory of peace.” Earlier this year, thousands of FARC combatants moved to demobilisation camps as part of historic peace accords in Colombia.

#OpérationRobe: confronting everyday sexism in France

In 2012, then-minister Cécile Duflot was cat-called in parliament. Last week, the dress she wore made a comeback in a new campaign.

After 50 years of occupation in Palestine, friendship across a separation wall

Wars have been fought, walls built and separation policies enacted. But we share a common belief that peace is possible. We refuse to be enemies.

Electoral reform is a feminist issue

The next UK parliament will not be gender-balanced. If we’re serious about this, we’d look at what other countries, and electoral systems, have achieved.

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.

How do we fight anti-rights fundamentalism at the United Nations?

An extract from the first report of a new initiative tracks how fundamentalist groups have embraced the UN as a site to foster conservative social change.

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