This week's editor

Heather McRobie

Heather McRobie is an editor at 5050.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Sabeen Mahmud: “I stand up for what I believe in, but I can’t fight guns”

Sabeen Mahmud alleviated intellectual poverty until the day she was murdered, 24 April 2015. In an interview with Karima Bennoune in 2010 Mahmud explained why she founded a politico-cultural space in Karachi.

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.

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.

Our Lives: Poverty then and now in the UK

A report launched today, Our Lives: Challenging attitudes to poverty in 2015, captures the humanity of the experience of poverty and calls for change as radical as the social reform in the 1940s.

What does the Stormont House Agreement mean for women in Northern Ireland?

The Stormont House Agreement ended a political crisis, but it brings women no closer to economic equality or equal participation in building a sustainable peace.

Labour, life and love: Marxist feminists join the dots

Last weekend two generations of international feminists met at a conference in Berlin designed to prompt fresh thinking on Marxist feminist theory and inspire the renewal of a socialist feminist movement.

Building "a new Turkey": gender politics and the future of democracy

Can Turkey's government eschew gender equality, demonise the country's dynamic women's movement, and still prevent gender-based violence? Can a party that rejects gender equality be a force for democratisation?

This is what a feminist foreign policy looks like

Margot Wallström’s decision not to sell arms to Saudi Arabia demonstrates the fundamental rethink needed to achieve a feminist foreign policy. Herein lies women's power to stop war. 

Podemos and gender: nods and winks

Are the politics of Podemos as revolutionary as they claim, or are they just the same set of rules in a new format for yet another club for the boys?

Awake to the challenge: African women's leadership at Beijing+20

If you randomly pick a person on the street in a remote part of any African country and ask them what they know about women’s rights, whatever the tone of voice - angry or excited, they are likely to mention “Beijing”.

CSW: the vital need to defend women human rights defenders

We deserve that you put aside your ideological, political and religious differences and fully recognize and affirm the human rights of women and girls and gender justice. Nothing less. Lydia Alpizar speaking at the UN CSW

The maid's story: renegotiating Cairo’s informal service sector

The Egyptian Government’s anti-terrorism measures are causing subtle but significant shifts in Cairo’s vibrant informal service sector- illustrated through the experiences of one middle-class resident and her long-serving part-time cleaner. Read part two of this two-part article: The madame's story.

Movements, money and social change: how to advance women’s rights

At the UN CSW underway in New York, a statement signed by almost 1000 women’s rights organizations calls out the lack of ambition for the scale of the issues at stake, and for real resources and accountability.

Women and science: time to cut the Neurotrash

Opportunities need to be made for young girls to identify with science while providing fairer employment for working scientists. It's time to end the 'neurosexism' in education and the media.

Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner? Women and work post-crash

The value of women’s unpaid and undervalued work is slowly beginning to be appreciated: the time is right for a re-examination of who gets paid, how much, and for what

Trapped: women fleeing violence in the UK

The raft of cuts affecting the women's sector, and election promises made by Labour and the Conservatives not to increase public spending, represent the biggest threat to domestic violence services and to women’s lives.

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 defenders of human rights: the good, the great and the gutsy

Harriet Wistrich is a beacon in the darkness that threatens to engulf the British legal system today with massive cuts in legal aid, and the prevailing culture of disbelief of asylum seekers and women escaping violence.

Of canaries and coal mines

Are women the canaries in the coal mine, their ill treatment signalling larger problems within a society?  Or is there something deeper going on?  Might male-female relations actually be the coal mine itself?

Changing the behaviour of male perpetrators of domestic violence

Domestic violence shows no sign of abating. There is growing recognition that working with male perpetrators - alongside intervention and protection for women - is essential to reducing the violence that kills two women every week.

Masculine violence: call of duty, or call for change?

The much-hyped launch of a new gun-shooting video game this month reveals the thread of gender linking socially-endorsed militarism to criminal sexual assault. Where are the social programmes that would address the reshaping of masculinity?

Women peacebuilders: transforming the system from the inside out?

Navigating between cooperation and confrontation vis-à-vis institutions of power, as WILPF approaches its centenary it must continue to avoid cooptation into a system that produces the violence it abhors.

The Antis: anti-imperialist or anti-feminist?

A recent article on "imperialist feminism" accuses the US women's movement of being a cheerleader for American empire from the war in Afghanistan to the present. Is this a sectarian strategy that misses the target and attacks the liberals instead of the right?

G20 and corruption: why gender matters

Research indicates that when a gender participation "tipping point" has been reached there will be genuine change in policy direction and ultimate impact. If the G20 is serious about tackling corruption it needs more women leaders.

Why the G20 needs to tackle gender inequality: Brisbane and beyond

The G20 should listen to Oxfam and assess its agenda and actions based on how they support the fulfilment of women’s human rights and lead to gender equality. This is not a question of adding yet another issue to the G20 agenda.

G20: the union movement's fight for gender equality in the labour market

Women are more reliant on decent labour law, minimum wages and conditions, and labour market protections. Yet these minimum protections are continually under attack, and the reach of these safeguards against exploitation is declining.

G20: can women's human rights and economic growth co-exist?

Will the G20 adopt an approach that meets human rights standards for economic growth at the Brisbane Summit? More representation of women at the governance level is essential. Who is at the table matters.

Gender at the G20

If the G20 is serious about 'sustainable and balanced growth' as the 'premier forum for international economic cooperation', it needs to demonstrate its serious intent towards matters of gender equality at the G20 Leaders' Summit in Brisbane this weekend.

The human costs of 'fast-fashion': the power to change is in your hands

A living wage is a human right, and it is crucial that consumers are fully aware of the power in their hands. We’ll be on the right track only when we will see a £5 dress as a red flag, and not as a bargain.

A global sisterhood

A global feminism that transcends narrow national, cultural, religious and social boundaries is crucial. Radha Bhatt says that if feminism is to mean anything it must extend solidarity to those who are resisting oppression in a variety of different contexts.

Frozen progress: beyond the egg-freezing debate

Behind the headlines of Silicon Valley companies offering female employees the chance to freeze their eggs lie more fundamental unresolved questions of gender in the workplace – and the role of work in our lives.

It's time for feminists to Get In, not Lean In.

The practice of patriarchy as a form of social governance has brought us to the brink of a planet crisis. The current model is bankrupt. In the run up to the UK general election in 2015, Finn Mackay urges feminists to engage in all forms of political participation.

Claiming rights, facing fire: young feminist activists

The increased violence against young women human rights defenders needs to be matched by funders prepared to respond more directly to the priorities identified by young people. Ruby Johnson says shifting the framework of how funders work with young people is essential.

Confronting Ebola in Liberia: the gendered realities

In Liberia 75% of those who have been infected or killed from Ebola are women. Last month, a rapid assessment and gender analysis of the outbreak concluded that a gendered perspective on prevention, care, and post admission care is imperative.

Northern Ireland: a transformative strategy for women, peace and security

Moving beyond the paralysing difference of opinion about whether the 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland constituted an armed conflict, women peacebuilders have produced a strategic guide which places international women, peace and security goals in a domestic framework for action.

Syndicate content