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This week's editor

“Phoebe

Phoebe Braithwaite is openDemocracy’s submissions editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

How to spend €500 million: women’s rights groups on Europe’s UN grant

We welcome this week’s historic funding announcement for work to end violence against women and girls. But there are important caveats.

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.

“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.

“Change can start from us”: Roma women in Italy fight for their rights

A new generation of Roma women is rising up against multiple forms of discrimination, to claim their rights to jobs, education, and healthcare.

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.

"The revolution will not be NGO-ised": four lessons from African feminist organising

African feminist movements are diverse. But we can, and must, learn from decades of transformational organising on the continent.

The politics of nudity as feminist protest – from Ukraine to Tunisia

Frontline activists, including women who use their topless bodies as political statements, are gathering in London to deplore threats to free expression worldwide.

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.

Fighting violence against women: what happens when an organisation fails to follow its values

This is the anonymised true story of the premature death of one women's organisation. Its experience is not unique, and we must do better.

Poem: For the mamas on the frontlines

"I said, if mamas don’t fight for the children, then who will?" Helen Knott performed her poem at the 2017 Nobel Women's Initiative conference. Catch up on 50.50's coverage.

Video: Voices from the 2017 Nobel Women's Initiative conference

Participants at the 2017 Nobel Women's Initiative conference talk about memory, activism after trauma, what women's movements can learn from each other – and much more.

Fight fundamentalism in all its guises: a call to action from Yemen to Germany

“Be close to people’s dreams, their aspirations and their suffering...fight for a society of equal citizenship” - Nobel Peace laureate Tawakkol Karman. Jennifer Allsopp reports for 50.50 from the third day of the Nobel Women's Initiative conference.

Lessons from farmers and indigenous women: cultivate democracy

Learning to live in harmony with the land is co-constituent to human rights activism. Jennifer Allsopp reports for 50.50 from the second day of the 2017 Nobel Women's Initiative conference. 

What would a world without barriers to feminist solidarity look like?

Citizenship is a duty that transcends borders. Jennifer Allsopp reports for 50.50 from the first day of the 2017 Nobel Women's Initiative conference. 

How to fight gun violence in Trump’s America

We must double down on grassroots, community activism. Even with Trump in office, women can and must organize to end gun violence. This article is part of 50.50's coverage of the 2017 Nobel Women's Initiative conference.

A feminist revolution demands climate justice

To change everything, it takes everyone, and to fight oppression, we must fight it in all forms, at all times. This article is part of 50.50's coverage of the 2017 Nobel Women's Initiative conference. 

Women fight back: from survive to thrive

In the Trumpian world writ large, the feminist struggle is more acute than ever. 13-16 May, the Nobel Women’s Initiative brings activists to Germany to strategise about advancing women’s rights while opening democratic space.

"Visionary and creative resistance": meet the women challenging extractivism – and patriarchy

Environmental degradation is deliberate, violent and patriarchal. From Turkey to Guatemala, women are on the frontlines of resistance.

100 days of Trump — and resistance from grassroots women's groups

The multiplicity of harms can feel overwhelming. But with thoughtful coordination we can support each other to resist this administration's agenda and its global impacts.

How Rojava-inspired women's councils have spread across Europe

Could this little-known system provide a way forward for real democracy – from the bottom up – in our failing neoliberal political systems?

Conflict in Syria: stop instrumentalising women’s rights

The international community is not listening to us. It must depoliticise the fight against sexual violence and humanise the countering violent extremism strategy.

Why the old Holloway Prison in north London should become a new women's building

This former site of state violence against women must be reclaimed – for the collective good.

'Faith and family': shrinking common ground at the UN CSW

The Worldwide Organization for Women took a hard line against all forms of comprehensive sexual education, often provided by UN bodies, highlighting ideological differences within the CSW.

No borders on gender justice

As the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) takes place in New York, gender justice advocates from around the world are uniting around the following principles.

No Women’s Day without refugee women

Hand-in-hand with Trump, Theresa May is not merely playing to an anti-migrant populist crowd but helped to create it. This system is working as intended, but it must be disrupted.

Lessons from Syria on women's empowerment during conflict

Syrian women will be the pillars of any future democratic process. Their efforts deserve support from national and international actors.

The Washington March: Historic communion of women

The women’s march brought many first-timers on to the streets. A first-timer writes about why the election of Donald Trump spurred her to travel from North Carolina to Washington DC to take part.

16 Days: survivors and activists at the centre

The field of violence against women is an argumentative space. 16 Days offers an opportunity to reflect, to be inspired and moved by women who have survived, our tireless campaigners and re-sisters. 

Femicide in Mexico and Guatemala

Feminists in Mexico and Guatemala working on femicide also use the concept of ‘feminicide’ to draw attention to state complicity in the killings of women. Español

Grunwick 40 years on: lessons from the Asian women strikers

The women who led the Grunwick dispute challenged not just the stereotypes of Asian women within British society, but also within an overwhelmingly white, male trade union movement.

Donors thinking big: beyond gender equality funds

The case for investing in southern women’s rights organisations is firmly established, but to create sustainability, resilience and long-term change donors need to invest in the infrastructure of the organisations and movements.

Politique de l’Internet : un guide féministe de navigation sur les flots du pouvoir en ligne

Nous sommes en mesure de reconnaître l’importance de nos décisions techniques, et ceci nous permettrait, au final, de nous réapproprier le pouvoir et le contrôle sur notre activisme dans la sphère numérique aussi bien que dans le monde réel.

Las políticas de la internet: Una guía feminista para entender el poder en línea

Reconocer la importancia política de nuestras decisiones técnicas es algo que podemos hacer y que nos permitirá reivindicar poder y controlar nuestro activismo tanto en la esfera digital como en el mundo físico.

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.

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.

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