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This week's editor

NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Violence against women in Spain: who cares?

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

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?  

UN resolution 2242: gender, generation, and counter terrorism

Key issues that remain unresolved within the Women, Peace, and Security agenda include: the nature of gender, the advisability of including counter terrorism efforts, and generational gaps within the movement.

The Hillary Doctrine: untangling sex and American foreign policy

Twenty years ago Hillary Clinton declared that "human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights." What would Clinton as US president mean for women and security?   

The promise of gender parity: Turkey’s People’s Democratic Party (HDP)

The Turkish HDP's egalitarian gender ideology played a key role in the election of a record number of women to parliament in June's election. Can these gains be sustained in the political turmoil ahead? 

Preventing violent extremism: a noose that is both too tight and too loose

The British government's programme to counter violent extremism hands religious fundamentalists the gift of a narrative of victimhood, narrowing the political space for secular feminists and others to challenge fundamentalism.

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.

Missed opportunities: gender and the UN's peacebuilding reports

The Open Debate this week on the 15th anniversary of SCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security is the UN's chance to answer the key question: why has implementation been so half-hearted? 

Girls speaking truth to power at the UN: the global 2030 Agenda

"Invest in adolescents. We’re not only the future, we’re the present, and we deserve to be happy."  Twelve year old Stephanie  Mendez Asturias, from Guatemala, speaking at the UN ahead of International Day of the Girl Child.

Documenting women’s lives: mothers' names on marriage certificates

In England and Wales in the twenty-first century we continue to perpetuate a system that writes women out of our collective history, and we are all poorer for it.

Mapping women's resistance to social and ecological degradation

Women coming together to cross pollinate ideas and build understanding about differing burdens, responsibilities, and solutions is an essential part of worldwide efforts to restore the health of the planet.

Security theology: life, death and the everyday in Israel-Palestine

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian spoke to Zoe Holman in the West Bank about Israeli settler-colonialism, a necropolitical regime, and her latest book, Security Theology, Surveillance and the Politics of Fear.  

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 ?

Separate and isolated: women and cuts to English language classes

Two thirds of English for speakers of other languages students are women, yet the British government is slashing funding whilst complaining about a lack of integration.

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. 

'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.

Breastfeeding is a human right, but does society truly enable women to breastfeed?

We know breast is best, but the challenges of juggling work and motherhood still throw up insurmountable barriers for women.

HIV and AIDS: language and the blame game

The negative and dehumanizing language used by scientists discussing global HIV policy is sapping the soul of those on the receiving end. The call for an alternative language of nature and nurture must be heard. 

Doing gender justice in northern Uganda

The efforts of NGOs and international organisations to gradually nudge post-war northern Uganda towards a ‘gender just society’ ignore the fact that gender equality also has real enemies.

No experts, saviours or victims: women living with HIV

Beyond bio-medical models, recent research has enabled a better psycho-social understanding of how women can access HIV treatment, if they want to, in stressful daily conditions.

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.

Pragna Patel: a politics of hope and not hate

"At the heart of my work is the idea that human beings are to be intrinsically valued, that we can all co-exist through mutual respect and rights."  - Pragna Patel

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.

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.

Big infrastructure: getting gender and the needs of women wrong

Infrastructural investment is back on the agenda, but gender is still being sidelined in development and across World Bank infrastructure projects.

Conflict widows: agents of change and peacebuilding

The rise of religious fundamentalism and conflict is diminishing widows to the status of a chattel. Their key role as sole supporters of families must be prioritised in negotiations for conflict prevention and resolution.

Abortion in Chile: addressing the false debate of "pro-life vs pro-death"

Chile is one of only four countries in the world that prohibits all abortion, but for the first time in 25 years a law on therapeutic abortion is being seriously considered.

UK border agents in the house of God

Immigration officers are now being placed in religious institutions.  It may not be too farfetched to ask: how long before we’re forced to wear our immigration status on our sleeves?

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...

Nepal's earthquake: grassroots women as first responders

Networks of Nepali grassroots women are reconstituting protective guards against increased violence against women, and have compiled core guidelines for relief workers to ensure the particular needs of women and girls are met.

"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.

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.

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