Laura Bates

Laura Bates


Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, an ever-increasing collection of over 25,000 women's experiences of gender imbalance. She has written for The Guardian, The Independent, Red Magazine, Grazia, the Women's Media Center, and the New Statesman. She was named one of the Huffington Post's Most Inspirational Women of 2012 and shortlisted for the 2013 Shorty Award in activism.


Shutting us down: How online misogyny prevents women from fully participating in democracy

Shutting us down: How online misogyny prevents women from fully participating in democracy

By — October 24, 2013
There are two major barriers to women’s full participation in the democratic process in the UK at the moment—the first relates to their taking part in the vital and shaping process of grassroots activism, and the second to their participation in more traditional political careers. more »
Women’s bodies: Cause of ‘epidemics and disasters’?

Women’s bodies: Cause of ‘epidemics and disasters’?

By — March 28, 2013
Her name is Amina. She is a teenage girl. A man in her country, Tunisia, thinks stones should be thrown at her until she dies because she posted a photo of herself on a website. Because she is a woman. Because she had the audacity to make a comment about her own body, and to photograph her body, and to use it to share her ideas with others. more »

When will I ‘earn’ my right to safety?

By — January 18, 2013
Delhi. Ohio. Nepal. Around the world, women are suffering sexual assaults so heinous that they are making the headlines on an almost daily basis. And yet, almost inconceivably, governments, members of the judiciary, and authority figures around the world continue to advocate that the solution lies with women—that their behavior is to blame and that their behavior has the power somehow, magically, to prevent rape. more »
Beneath the law: When the system inherently favors the rapist

Beneath the law: When the system inherently favors the rapist

By — October 22, 2012
Back in April, I wrote for WMC’s Women Under Siege about the legal gender imbalance female victims of sexualized violence face around the world. But a disturbing recent investigation by the independent Indian weekly newsmagazine Tehelka suggests that the miscarriage of justice in some cases of rape and sexual assault might be linked to prejudice on the part of those delivering justice, rather than bias within the law itself. more »

What’s in a name? The rhetoric of rape

By — September 7, 2012
Campaigners in Egypt have recently drawn attention to the increasingly widespread sexual harassment, assault, and rape suffered by women in public spaces. The severity of the situation there well documented and longstanding, with women suffering “violations of their human rights” in the form of intrusive virginity tests, “assault and torture,” and even “being dragged naked on the ground,” according to a 2011 press release from the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights. more »

A crime upon a crime: Rape, victim-blaming, and stigma

By — August 16, 2012
In Sudan, where tens of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes by fighting and destruction, where the lives of refugees have already been devastated by the loss of their homes and families, women bear a second, enduring pain. Because for many Darfuri women, the “crime” of falling victim to rapists and sexual attackers renders them valueless, “dishonored,” and rejected. more »

Ideas into action? A view from inside the UK’s new initiative to stop rape in war

By — July 25, 2012
You may have heard that the UK recently launched a new initiative aimed at preventing sexualized violence in conflict. We’ve been fortunate enough to be part of the early stages of this ambitious new project, which has invited participation from NGOs and experts around the world. more »
What are the solutions to wartime rape?

What are the solutions to wartime rape?

By — July 2, 2012
Part of Women Under Siege’s mission is to try to understand and share findings on the complexities of wartime rape in its varied forms in order to develop targeted solutions that would work effectively in different situations. We need to get a better grasp on what’s happening so we can stop it, and to stop it we need to think creatively and strategically. Here are some ideas on how to end or prevent sexualized violence in the context of various conflict situations. more »

What do we mean by rape in war?

By — June 25, 2012
For many of us, the phrase “wartime rape” evokes blurry, broad ideas of military assault, battles, and weapons. Just like the common misconceptions that surround rape in places like the U.S. or the UK (such as the idea that rape is a crime committed by a shadowy stranger in a dark alley, when, according to UK charity Rape Crisis, “only 9 percent of rapes are committed by ‘strangers’”) it is easy to make incorrect assumptions about the causes and manifestations of wartime rape. more »

It’s not a revolution for those left behind

By — June 8, 2012
“Who should I blame for this? Mubarak for destroying my country’s education so those men have no respect for women and have become just animals … our useless police who are incapable of defending us…our religious leaders who claim that they want what’s best but they don’t go to these young men and teach them what’s right…. Who? … I am sorry for the women of Egypt… . I am angry but I am not broken.” more »
Why is stopping gender violence a ‘women’s issue’?

Why is stopping gender violence a ‘women’s issue’?

By — May 13, 2012
The Violence Against Women Act is causing contention as it comes to Congress for the third time for reauthorization. Democrats want to extend the act, first approved in 1994, to provide protection to Native American women, victims in same-sex relationships, and undocumented immigrants—some of the country’s most vulnerable populations. But Republicans have accused Democrats of deliberately including these “controversial” issues in an attempt to lure them into blocking the bill. more »
Defining justice when the law is unjust: How gender imbalance affects women around the world

Defining justice when the law is unjust: How gender imbalance affects women around the world

By — April 25, 2012
Justice is supposed to confer equality, impartiality, protection for victims, and punishment for perpetrators. Yet as recently as the 1970s, spousal rape was not considered a criminal offense in some U.S. states. more »