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Nobel Women's Initiative

"It is not just about hope and ideas, it's about action...Our duty is to have a dream, but work everyday for reality" Shirin Ebadi

The Nobel Women’s Initiative was established in 2006 by sister Nobel Peace Laureates. The women are united in bringing together women activists and scholars from around the world in an effort to build a culture of peace, justice and equality.

oD 50.50 has been covering these international gatherings since 2007 in an editorial partnership publishing articles written by participants and 50.50 authors. View the full list of articles or browse by yearly coverage.

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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.

Time for a Fifth World Conference on Women?

Not holding a fifth UN world conference in 2015 has left a vacuum, a dangerous thing when patriarchal ethno-nationalists are colonizing public space. It is time to insist that international human rights institutions deliver for women.

Sound the Trumpet

Trump offered white voters the illusion they could prosper. We have to offer all our people a way to move forward together and save the planet.

Internet politics: a feminist guide to navigating online power

Recognising the political importance of our technical decisions is within reach, leading ultimately to reclaiming power and control of our activism in the digital sphere as well as in the offline world. Français Español

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.

A life of hope lived in defiance of violence: Rebecca Masika Katsuva

“They think when they’re raped that their lives are shattered. But we’d like them to know that it’s not the end of the world" - Rebecca Masika Katsuva. (1966 - 2016)

 

Nobel Women’s Initiative at 10: When We Are Bold

“It is time to stand up, sisters, and do some of the most unthinkable things. We have the power to turn our upsidedown world right.” – Leymah Gbowee

Gloria Steinem: toward a feminist foreign policy

Feminism, when you look at it as Gloria Steinem does, as the recognition of the full humanity and full equality of both men and women, is peace work

Whose work was the inspiration for the first nuke-free country?

New Zealand was the first country in the world to pass national nuclear-free legislation. Marilyn Waring reflects on how Dr. Helen Caldicott’s influence culminated in the passage of the cornerstone of New Zealand’s foreign policy.

Classifying bodies, denying freedoms

From sex to race, classification is a tool of oppression. Abuse directed at Caster Semenya lies at the centre of the AWID Forum’s theme ‘Bodily Integrity and Freedoms’. Português Español

Young feminist movements: the power of technology

Young feminists are coming of age in a tech-focused and tech-literate world and using technology to organize locally and globally. What does this mean for the future of gender equality?

The distance travelled: Beijing, Hillary, and women's rights

Hillary Rodham Clinton will need to listen to the voices of women working at grassroots on the frontline, and be prepared to use her power, should she win, to defend the human rights defenders.

A revolution for our times: Rojava, Northern Syria

Travelling in Rojava is to witness a revolution experimenting with a form of stateless, direct democracy with women’s liberation, race and class equality at the heart of it. Part 1.

Berta’s struggle is our global struggle…

Berta Cáceres’s assassination is a painful reminder of the way in which a trinity of corporate, government and military interests creates a tapestry of capitalist power structures, making for an often deadly struggle.

Guilty: what the Sepur Zarco trial means for women’s rights worldwide

Survivors of wartime sexual violence in Guatemala have secured a landmark victory in the Sepur Zarco trial: a win for international human rights in a domestic court.

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...

Security is not just CCTV: valuing ourselves is security

It feels as if the entire world has been given over to the most perverse notions of 'safety'  that are really about death and destruction, cruelty and conflict, grandiosity and greed. 

Iraq's female citizens: prisoners of war

Iraqi woman human rights defender Yanar Mohammed spoke to Jennifer Allsopp at the Nobel Women’s Initiative conference about grass-roots responses to the atrocities women are facing under ISIS.

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.

Women human rights defenders: reigniting the embers

The profile of today’s front line activist is different to that of the freedom fighter of old. We need to see her in her wholeness. Jennifer Allsopp reports from the Nobel Women’s Initiative conference in the Netherlands.

Mairead Maguire: breaking the silence on Palestine

Palestinian women human rights defenders and peace makers, in resisting the injustices being perpetrated upon their people, deserve our support and we must each do what we can to break the silence.

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.

At the margins of visibility: recognising women human rights defenders

Every small act that stands up to patriarchy or to inequality, whether it is asking to go to school, or refusing to marry the man her father chooses, is an act of women's human rights defense.

Women human rights defenders: protecting each other

With the continued failure of the UN to implement the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders twenty years after it was passed, women human rights defenders are still their own best support and protection network.   

Awaiting justice: Indigenous resistance in the tar sands of Canada

The Nation of the Lubicon Cree is on the frontlines of environmental destruction, as it challenges the forces behind resource extraction and environmental and cultural genocide, and seeks justice for all.

"It starts with us": Breaking one of Canada's best kept secrets

A coalition of women human rights defenders in Canada is demanding an end to state complicity, and a culture of impunity in the genocidal violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirited people.

Iranian women human rights defenders: challenges and opportunities

If President Rouhani honours his promises and 'de-securitises' the general atmosphere, the work of women human rights defenders could lead to significant and tangible change towards ensuring human rights for Iranian citizens.

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