openDemocracy 50.50 is a truly unique space for diverse and critical perspectives on gender, social justice and pluralism. Over the next several days alone: we’ll hear about UN talks to ban nuclear weapons, follow the case of a former child bride whose story went viral on social media in China, and look at a campaign to reclaim the historic Holloway Prison in north London and open a new women’s building on the site.
In 2017 – with Donald Trump in the White House in the US, human rights activists under pressure around the world, and the growth of divisive, populist politics and extremist movements in many countries – protecting, strengthening and connecting spaces like 50.50 is more important than ever.
I am thrilled to join the section as its new editor, building on the work of its brilliant founding editor Jane Gabriel, who built 50.50 into the vibrant and one-of-a-kind resource that it is today. This year I hope to work with you – 50.50’s readers and writers – to make it better and bolder still, to expand its reach and impact, and to make it more interactive.
You will start to see some changes soon. Last week, 50.50 experimented with tweeting live from events at the 2017 International Journalism Festival in Perugia – from a panel of female journalists covering violence against women in Italy and the UK, and another on women leading the fight for freedom of expression from Bahrain to the Balkans. (You can catch up on our tweets, and find us: @5050od).
Soon, new writers’ guidelines will be published on 50.50. Starting in May 2017 our monthly newsletter, which contains all the latest 50.50 articles, will also include calls for submissions on particular themes – such as gendered perspectives on climate change. As well, it will include curated links to resources and tips for writers. Subscribe to our free monthly newsletter today. Have an idea for a theme we should focus on? Email 50.50.
Empowering new writers and publishing critical and diverse perspectives will always be core to 50.50. I also want to hear from readers: Would you like longer articles? Shorter pieces? More photos? Videos? Do you have an idea for an investigation related to women's rights or gender equality? Or a suggestion of an activist or social movement we should interview or invite to write? Email 50.50.
In the future, I'd like to publish more investigative journalism – and provide more ways for you to get involved on 50.50. I am also keen to explore new partnerships and collaborations. In the meantime, I look forward to hearing from you!
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