This week's editor

Mariam Ali

Mariam Ali is Associate Editor for openDemocracy's Arab Awakening page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The gender wars in Turkey: a litmus test of democracy?

The pent up fury and grief released by Özgecan Aslan’s attempted rape and gruesome murder reveal deep fault lines and simmering sources of disaffection in Turkish society.

A day of reckoning, 39 years later...

On this Land Day, while world powers have recognised the danger of the religion-centric Islamic State (IS), it is ironic that some of the same governments are urging Palestinians to accept Lieberman's "axe"-wielding Jewish version of IS.

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.

On Solidarity

The idea of solidarity has its roots in the history of the workers’ movement, and as this is usually excluded from conventional tales of human endeavour, it is seldom understood. 

Waiting for emancipation: the prospects for liberal revolution in Africa

Clearly, trade and finance are not organized, in Africa or the world at large, with a view to liberating a popular movement.

Farkhunda paid for Afghanistan's culture of impunity

How can we interpret the lynching of Farkhunda by an angry mob in the heart of Kabul city? What are its implications for the future of Afghanistan?

An irresistible force? Arab citizens of Israel after the elections

Binyamin Netanyahu may have returned to power by disowning the two-state solution and scaremongering about Arab voters pre-election. But Palestinians in Israel have become a force to be reckoned with.

Digital Citizenship: from liberal privilege to democratic emancipation

On the anniversary of the Magna Carta, a call for a new debate on the conception of citizenship. Let’s seize the opportunity to transform our utopian dreams into everyday life.

Secretive and seedy: how aid donors are opening the agribusiness flood gates

When big agribusiness teams up with international aid organisations to corner the market on seeds, everyone loses. 

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?

Introducing three old ideas for a new Europe: flourishing, solidarity and care for the soul

These ideas--care for the soul, flourishing, solidarity--are ideas that according to Jan Patočka could be useful for reinterpreting our political space, in the face of a crisis which is shattering it.

Challenging Northern Ireland’s abortion law

The latest challenge to Northern Ireland’s abortion law is a very small step in the right direction, away from a post-conflict settlement in which women can be treated as secondary citizens. 

Gender-blind global health institutions ignore misery for women in Ebola-affected regions

"Invest in women” is a well-worn mantra of international development, but we must ask the question – invest for whom?

Explaining the jihadi threat in Tunisia

We must say that this scenario is both similar to and different from those in other countries of the region where authoritarian regimes fell in 2011.

Travelling theory

Around social thinkers from the South, who have not made it into the conventional sociological tradition, Connell proposes to build an alternative social science.           

Women and the Arab Spring: a dream turned nightmare

Change must start from within each individual. As quoted in the Quran, “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”  

Still a chance for another Europe?

On the output side of Europe’s political system, we have an abdication of responsibility by representative institutions in the face of citizens’ demands. But the Greek elections mark a turning point.  

Global terrorism as anti-movement

In an anti-movement can be found, in perverted fashion, those demands which a movement could have pursued – the call for justice, equality, dignity, respect and ultimately a brighter future.

Lives of endurance: sanitizing crime against girls

How much longer will it take the global community to recognise the human dignity and worth of the girl child, and ensure the full enjoyment of her human rights and fundamental freedoms? 

Immigration and the UK General Election: reclaiming the agenda for all

When we ask our parliamentary candidates whether their policies are good for women, we must ask whether they are good for all women. When the Home Office says appalling things about migrant women, it hurts all women's rights.

Israeli elections: no expectations from the Palestinian side

For the Palestinians, who wins the election makes no difference. In the West Bank and Gaza the mood moves between indifference and the sense that all the parties are hostile towards them in one way or another.

Europe adjusting the noose around its neck

Steadfast, chins high, and completely oblivious to the momentous changes happening around it, the ossified political mainstream of Europe is marching towards the abyss.

Disposable Girls

The fight to protect the world's girls, whether from sexual exploitation or abduction, is not about saving individuals. It is about profound structural change in the hierarchical power relations of patriarchy.

India’s Daughter: platforming rapists and ignoring activists

Udwin’s intervention has been true to her self-assigned role as an ‘amplifier’, but the only voice given an international platform here other than her own is that of the rapist.

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”.

Stark symbolism in the Israeli election campaign

All over Israel, we met Palestinians and other Arabs anxious to find meaningful ways of engaging with political questions broader than their own self-interest.

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

What about an international education?

The 2012 US federal law denying visas to Iranian students comes into conflict with the educational mission of the US State Department. 

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.

'India’s Daughter': the rapists’ callowness not the most distressing aspect of banned BBC documentary

The Indian Home Ministry’s attempt to block the screening could be seen as one example of a broader clampdown on whatever is deemed  ‘anti-national’. But what does that say about the mainstream culture?

Khon Kean in my mind: development is people

Development takes time. A lot of time. Meanwhile, people need to be free and we need to be kind. 

To address the global food crisis, we have to address the power of big agribusiness

There is plenty of evidence that the livelihoods of farmers and communities can be improved, and that agroecology can deliver a huge range of other benefits.

Our bodies as battlegrounds

From Kyrgyzstan to Brazil and Sri Lanka, young feminists are trying to shift the debate over sexual and reproductive rights away from a focus on population control and the family unit, to the right of women to have bodily autonomy.

Domestic violence in Sri Lanka: the power of alternative discourse

The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act has opened up an important and new discursive ‘space of struggle’ to debate patriarchal privilege, the sanctity of the family, and the ‘meaning’ of domestic violence in Sri Lanka

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