Has Trump’s White House ‘resurrected’ Army of God anti-abortion extremists?

United States (OpenDemocracy) – Rising right-wing extremism in the United States appears to have breathed new life into militant Christian groups including the ‘Army of God’ (AOG) – a violent network which first rose to prominence in the early 1980s. Openly promoting the killing of abortion providers, it supports individuals jailed for the murders of healthcare workers, and it has been linked to a number of domestic terror attacks on targets across America. The organization’s de facto religious leader, Reverend Donald Spitz, spoke to 50.50 in a rare interview from his home in…

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Protect women’s rights, promote development in South Sudan

South Sudan (SSB) – Before I joined Makerere Law School in 2010, I used to view women like any other men. What comes to the minds of many men whenever they see women is sex. This objectification of women is the product of culture. Men are culturally oriented to look at women as sexual objects that are available for men to satisfy their lusts whenever they want. It is in relation to the above, majority of South Sudanese men and especially, men in cattle keeping communities do not see women as…

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Women’s votes: six amazing facts from around the world

World (Conversation) – On February 6, 1918, British women – (well, the wealthy ones over 30) – were given the right to vote. And since the 1960s, women have been voting in British national elections at basically the same rate as men. But how is the rest of the world doing? Here’s a snapshot. 1. Ecuador: transgender friendly (at voting booths) In Ecuador, men and women vote separately. The country was in the headlines last year when it decided to allow transgender people to choose the male or female line,…

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Puberty is starting earlier – sex-ed needs to catch up

United Kingdom (Conversation) – The British government is consulting on a new curriculum for sex and relationship education in English schools. This change provides a timely opportunity to update how, when and what children are taught about puberty. Astonishingly, the Department for Education (DfE) guidance on sex education has not changed for nearly two decades. But after concerted lobbying, research, and the recommendations of multiple committees of MPs, in 2017, the Children and Social Work Act finally acknowledged the need to provide “sex education for the 21st century”. New statutory…

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We Women Don’t Need Workplace “Safe Spaces”

United States (FEE) –  There’s a lot wrong with a recent article in the New York Times about “What The Sharing Economy Really Delivers.” But it was this sentence about women and co-working spaces that really tied my tail in a knot: “Already many women have chosen to bypass the air-hockey subculture of conventional co-working facilities for all-female alternatives like The Wing in New York or Rise Collaborative in St. Louis. They are tired of men and their predations and inefficiencies.” Like Mad Men, but Less Glamorous Talk about walking into…

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It Is Not Only LGBT Jamaicans Who Welcome the Government’s Ban of Controversial U.S. Preacher

Jamaica (GV) – Human rights activists, online campaigners — and many other Jamaicans — were pleased with the government’s recent decision to deny entry to American fundamentalist pastor, Steven Anderson. While concerns regarding free speech linger, it was not just the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) lobby that expressed satisfaction at the decision to keep out Anderson, who has a reputation for extreme homophobia, and preaches a volatile stance against homosexuality. News of the ban (Jamaica is the fifth country to have done so) broke via the change.org website on…

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The peril of being famous, female, and having political opinions

(Conversation) – Gal Gadot and Amena Khan, both are female beauty icons, and both tweeted “problematic” tweets about the Gaza–Israel conflict in 2014. And that is where the similarity ends. Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot hardly needs an introduction. She’s a brand ambassador for Revlon and the face of Gucci Bamboo fragrance. She has a strong social media presence, with 15.9m followers on Instagram and 1.62m followers on Twitter. She’s been described as the “ultimate badass” for “breaking gender barriers as Wonder Woman”. Amena Khan is a beauty blogger. She…

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Why are women joining far-right movements, and why are we so surprised?

(OpenDemocracy) – Women’s ‘shocking’ participation in far-right politics has received much media attention. But is this a new trend, or have we been here before? Dozens of feature articles have recently marvelled at the increasingly female face of the far right in Europe and North America. The New York Times reported, for instance, on the increased visibility of women in the upper-echelons of far-right parties, from France to Norway. A Vogue feature described this as “the friendly face of right-wing politics,” and “an attempt to soften and feminise” the European far right’s extreme views. In…

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Who Is Responsible for Ending Sexual Violence in Somalia?

Somalia (GV) – In October 2017, 16-year-old Faiza Mohamed Abdi was shot in the “pelvic area” for declining the sexual advances of her attacker in the port town of Bosaso, Somalia. Abdi was brutally wounded by Abdikadir Warsame, a solider with the security forces in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland. Since December 2017, Faiza has been undergoing treatment in a hospital in Turkey. Radio Dalsan reports: Faiza was reported to have been attacked by a Puntland state navy soldier who wanted to rape her while she was in Bosaso town but she struggled…

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How women are building feminist human security in the Americas

Americas (OpenDemocracy) – Across the region, women are forging alternative paths to real peace and security, rejecting militarisation and violence. They do this at great personal risk. Latin American countries have the highest rates of femicide in the world and are considered the most dangerous places for women outside of war zones. Many places in this region are effectively war zones – they just don’t fit the model of conventional warfare. Too many women face constant threats of violence from drug cartels, government forces, paramilitaries, gangs, husbands and partners. Women organisers from across…

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