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Gia Armstrong


Location icon United Kingdom

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]


LGBT rights

The Week UK
The 'transgender tipping point': how and why attitudes are changing

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 Week UK
Why some people want to be called Mx instead of Mr or Mrs

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 Week UK
Miss Transgender UK: is the beauty pageant exploitative or empowering?

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".

The Week UK
Gender neutral clothing: the trend that's breaking down barriers

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.

The Week UK
Transgender bathroom laws provoke protest

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 Week UK
Third gender laws: Thailand to 'buck the biological binary'

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 Week UK
Robert Mugabe: from freedom fighter to fearsome dictator

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.

The Week UK
Marine Le Pen suspends Jean-Marie: but is she her father's daughter?

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 Week UK
Lili Elbe: the transgender artist behind The Danish Girl

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.

The Week UK
Kim Jong-un: beyond the personality cult

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?

The Week UK
Winston Churchill: greatest British hero or a warmongering villain?

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.

The Week UK
Malcolm X: the life and death of a complex American hero

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

The Week UK
Sexism in Hollywood: how women are fighting back

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.

The Week UK
Gender quotas: vital for equality or mere tokenism?

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.

The Week UK
Women's rights in Afghanistan: the turbulent fight for equality

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.

The Week UK
Eleven things women in Saudi Arabia can't do

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.

The Week UK
Seven things women are banned from wearing around the world

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.

The Week UK
Bacha posh: why some Afghan girls are raised as boys

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.

Refugee Crisis

The Week UK
Refugees in Britain: the facts behind the headlines

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.


Obama 'sides with dictators' at US-Africa summit

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.

Barack Obama: 'We tortured some folks' after 9/11

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.

The Week UK
Police shootings in the US: who is getting killed?

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."

The Week UK
Yazidis: who are they and why is Islamic State pursuing them?

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 Week UK
Yemen crisis: Who are the rebel groups and why are they fighting?

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.

Middle East

Swaziland: On trial for criticising the judicial system

"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.


'Ebola racism': how the world is discriminating against Africans

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.


Calais migrant crisis: how can the 'border war' be solved?

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.

The Week UK
Burundi crisis: coup underway after president 'ousted'

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.

The Weekend Observer
'Art saved my life'

Exclusive interview with American author and filmmaker MK Asante

Pegida: Germany dims lights against 'pinstripe Nazi' protests

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.


Crimea: how daily life has changed under Russian rule

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.

Rape: The victim blame game

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'.


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