Gia Armstrong is originally from Swaziland, Southern Africa and is currently working as a journalist at The Week in London.
Growing up in a multicultural family full of artists, journalists and activists has shaped her view and perception of life immensely and her writing reflects her interests and background in specific topics such as international politics, African development, gender issues, human rights and media freedom.
She can be contacted at [email protected]
Earlier this week Kellie Maloney, the former boxing promoter, announced that she was coming out as a transgender woman. Her announcement sparked surprise but also a large amount of support from the boxing world and beyond. Transgender (or trans) is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.
The Oxford English Dictionary is considering including the gender-neutral title "Mx" in its next edition as an alternative to Mr, Mrs or Miss. Pronounced "mux" or "mix", the title has featured on official documents in the UK for several years.
The winner of Britain's transgender beauty pageant has been crowned, but the annual event continues to divide the trans community. Jai Dara Latto, a 22-year-old make-up artist and trans activist from Scotland, has been named Miss Transgender United 2015 and described her win as a "life changing experience".
Selfridges is to become the first major British retailer to introduce gender neutral clothing across its stores, reflecting a growing trend on both the catwalk and the high street. "We want to take our customers on a journey where they can shop and dress without limitations or stereotypes," the store said in a statement.
A Canadian transgender woman is posing in men's bathrooms in protest against a proposed law that would make it illegal for her and other 'trans' women to use female toilets. "I'm giving them what they want," Brae Carnes told the Times Colonist.
The government of Thailand is set to officially recognise a "third gender" category, in a move designed to protect the human rights of people who do not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth. "We are putting the words 'third gender' in the constitution because Thai society has advanced," a spokesperson told Reuters.
The battle to succeed President Robert Mugabe has "gone into overdrive" according to local reports, as his party steps up efforts to undermine his deputy. Joice Mujuru had once been seen as a likely successor, but today Zanu-PF moved to bar her from a senior party position.
France's National Front has suspended its founder Jean-Marie Le Pen following a string of inflammatory remarks and an ongoing family feud. Described as the far-right party's "old warhorse", recent comments in which he has belittled the Holocaust, voiced support for Philippe Petain - the leader of France's Nazi-collaborationist Vichy regime - and said the Ebola virus could wipe out France's immigration problem in three months, have proved too much.
The Danish Girl, a bestselling book and upcoming film, is introducing new audiences to Lile Elbe, a transgender artist and one of the first people in the world to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Lili was born Einar Wegener in rural Denmark in 1882 and identified as male for most of his life.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is reportedly celebrating his birthday today, but no one is able to confirm how old the 'Great Successor' is, as much of his life remains shrouded in mystery. Worshipped and feared in equal measure at home, criticised and ridiculed abroad - what do we know about one of the world's most secretive leaders?
Sir Winston Churchill, a journalist, a soldier, and a war-time leader, was a maverick who divided opinion throughout his lengthy political career. As the 50th anniversary of his death approaches, historians and journalists appear no closer to agreeing on his legacy. We weigh up the leading arguments on both sides.
Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, one of America's most influential civil rights leaders. The militant Black Nationalist leader was the spokesperson for the Nation of Islam during the 1950s and 1960s.
Feminism and women's rights
Hollywood's problem with women is well-documented. From female actors who earn less than half than their male colleagues to a lack of equal representation in almost all areas of the movie industry. "Society as a whole still has an issue with women, so of course Hollywood does, both behind the scenes and in front of the cameras," said Jill Pantozzi, editor of pop culture site The Mary Sue.
Quotas to improve the representation of women in business and politics have been implemented in many parts of the world, but are often met with strong opposition. Britain has chosen not to implement gender quotas in business, despite strong evidence that better female representation leads to better financial performance.
Men in Afghanistan are being urged to speak out against gender inequality in a country often ranked one of the most dangerous places in the world for women. The HeForShe movement, set up by UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, was launched in Afghanistan last week and hopes to encourage men to play a more prominent role in the fight for women's rights.
Saudi Arabia has passed a controversial law requiring all female television presenters to adhere to a mandatory Islamic dress code, including wearing an abaya and scarf. The king's advisory body, the Shoura Council, ruled that the women should wear "modest" clothes that do not "show off their beauty", according to Arab News.
Women around the world are being punished, criminalised and shamed for wearing clothes that are deemed inappropriate by authorities, with restrictions in place from London to Khartoum. Here's a list of some of the things women are not allowed to wear: A tuxedo in Louisiana A school in Louisiana told straight-A student Claudetteia Love she is not allowed to wear a tuxedo to her high school prom.
Inna Shevchenko sets out to answer her critics and explain why the UK needs Femen
Bacha posh, directly translated as "dressed up like a boy" from the Persian dialect Dari, is an ancient practice that still occurs in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan today. Brought to the world's attention by New York Times journalist Jenny Nordberg, the hidden practice of bringing up a young girl as a boy involves altering her physical appearance and giving her a male name.
Britain is coming under increasing pressure to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Europe and open its doors to more refugees. There are also growing calls to confront the myths and negative stereotypes spread about refugees by politicians and the press.
The largest US-Africa summit comes to an end in Washington today amid criticism of Barack Obama for failing to address human rights abuses on the continent. Heads of state from 45 African countries attended the summit, which focused on boosting trade and addressing security threats posed by extremist organisations, but activists accused the event's host of turning a blind eye towards war crimes, corruption and attacks on press freedom and gay rights.
The CIA tortured captured Al-Qaeda suspects following 9/11, President Barack Obama has admitted in one of his "most candid comments" about the treatment of prisoners since taking office, The Guardian reports. The speech, in which he bluntly confessed "we tortured some folks", was delivered to address the upcoming release of a highly anticipated Senate report which criticises the tactics used by security agents to gather information from terror suspects.
A reserve sheriff's deputy has been charged with second-degree manslaughter after shooting dead an unarmed black man in Oklahoma. Eric Harris was killed after Bob Bates allegedly mistook his gun for his Taser during a sting operation. In the video, Bates is heard saying: "Oh, I shot him. I'm sorry."
As corporations are given the right to religious freedom, Obama argues it 'jeopardises' women's health
Over 40,000 Yazidis remain trapped on Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq, awaiting humanitarian aid and military intervention against Islamic State militants that could "help prevent genocide". Earlier this week, a Yazidi member of parliament in Baghdad made a tearful and passionate appeal on behalf of her people, begging the government to intervene.
The British embassy in Yemen has been closed and all staff have been withdrawn due to the escalating crisis in the country, the Home Office has announced. The government has also advised all other British nationals in the country to leave Yemen immediately.
Amid an electoral crisis in Afghanistan, the latest Taliban attack kills 16, including 4 Nato troops
"The only crime in this case is judges abusing the judicial system to settle personal scores" By Gia Armstrong / 22 April, 2014 The case against human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko and journalist and editor of the independent Nation magazine, Bheki Makhubu, resumes today in Swaziland after adjourning over Easter.
As international troops begin to leave Afghanistan and violence continues, the world is watching this crucial vote
Mozambique faces uncertainty as two decades of peace ends with fresh attacks from both sides
Middle East analysts are split: does Al-Modallal represent a sign of real progress?
Al Jazeera accused of being a 'mouthpiece of Islamists' as terrorism trial gets underway
The worsening conflict in South Sudan could become a 'fully-fledged war' if no action is taken, says UN
Ceasefire set to continue in the 'capital of the revolution', but what's next for Geneva II?
Increasing anxiety and fear over the Ebola virus has led to what many commentators have dubbed "Ebola racism". "People are being shunned and mocked for having visited, or even for simply having been born in, Africa - and anywhere in Africa will do, afflicted with Ebola or not," writes The Intercept's Andrew Jones.
'Raised hopes' of end to crisis as Samba-Panza elected and EU agrees to send troops
An analysis of the challenges facing investigative journalism on the continent, as well as its recent successes.
Hundreds of migrants in Calais tried to storm a ferry travelling to the UK after overpowering security forces in the French port. They were stopped from boarding the vessel after staff raised the entry ramp and used a fire hose to keep them at bay, the BBC reports.
South African President Jacob Zuma's war on the media
An attempted coup is underway in Burundi, as rival troops fight for control of state buildings in the capital Bujumbura. A senior army general yesterday announced that President Pierre Nkurunziza had been ousted, following weeks of violent protests in response to his attempt to extend his term as leader.
Exclusive interview with American author and filmmaker MK Asante
An examination of the economic relationship between China and Africa
Bosnians unite as warfare is no longer divided along ethnic lines, but economic ones
Rival rallies have been held across Germany as protests against the perceived "Islamisation of Europe" and immigration continue to grow. A record 18,000 people attended protests organised by a group calling itself Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West (Pegida) in Dresden.
Six months after the Republic of Crimea was annexed by Russia, a move that Ukraine and the West have refused to recognise, the peninsula remains caught in the middle of a battle between Kiev and the Kremlin.
Why we shouldn't just accept that we live in a society that teaches its children 'don't get raped' rather than 'don't rape'.
Radical women's magazine that shuns celebrity chatter has been forced to issue a launch-day apology
Global condemnation of US hunter is 'sexist' and misplaced say South African commentators