In David Cameron's back yard, Oxfordshire County Council has cut Terrence Higgins Trust's £50,000 funding, which is forcing the closure of its local centre. The reality is that there are will be no HIV Prevention and Support service in the whole county after April 2016, with almost 500 people left with no alternative support service.
Before I became a parent I was a fully paid up member of the right on- politically correct brigade. If asked, I would have said I was determined to bring up my children free to embrace whatever interested them, be it maths and science experiments for a girl or fashion and cookery for boys. But it hasn't quite turned out that way.
I cringe at my own female gaze. The times I size up a woman, assessing whether or not I think she can pull off her outfit, if I think someone that age be wearing that length of skirt. It's some sort of triggered instinct that surges into my brain before I can stamp it down. Changing the way we see each other takes effort.
Men down talk about their emotions, and we certainly don't ask for help. I've fallen out with several friends and partners because one or both of us felt we couldn't ask for what we needed. This inability to talk is linked to higher suicide rates, poor mental health and use of substances as a coping mechanism.
International Women's Day is an opportunity to address the enormous forces working against women's rights and preventing true gender equality. It is a chance to petition governments, to challenge, to campaign, to take action. It is also a time to celebrate, to reflect on the achievements that have been made.
I ask each and every one of you to take part in the campaigning in any way possible, be that by supporting the campaign for gender-neutral toilets as those attending higher education institutions such as The University of Hull, Sussex, Bath, Manchester, Staffordshire, Bradford and Oxford have done or be it simply by supporting the use of gender-neutral pronouns it makes a difference and sets a foundation from which we can build a better more progressive future, together.