This week, David Cameron hosts the Girl Summit 2014.... The spirit of all this is all very estimable. An estimated 66,000 women in the UK and 125million around the world have been cut and more are at risk. Unfortunately, it could easily turn out to be counter-productive.
This summit, attended by Heads of State, ministers and experts from all over the world is an opportunity to do so. While I am there, I will be thinking of women like Aliah from Yemen, who tried to run away from her new 30-year-old husband when she was 16, only to have her family beat her and force her back. Years later, those same widespread beliefs and traditions held in her community then forced her to marry off her own 16-year-old daughter. As we gather at the summit we must remember stories like these. These practices violate the fundamental rights of women and girls. Making child marriage and FGM illegal is critical. But it's not enough if nothing is done to challenge strong-held beliefs passed down through generations.
Being HIV positive, it is all these people that have saved my life and to think that they had to sacrifice their lives for this futile feud going on that is merely about fuelling high powered leaders ego's, is sickening.
We know that disabled people have the potential, drive and desire to be our country's future leaders or entrepreneurs if they are given the chance. We also know that our best companies value talent and we're delighted to be able to connect the two. And we welcome support from anyone - NUS, Prime Minister or BBC - with the common sense to make common cause with us.
I've struggled with negative body image my entire life. Born missing my left arm and then at 18 months of age suffering third degree burns to 14% of my body after knocking boiling water on myself while struggling to get used to a prosthetic arm. I grew up looking and feeling different - in a society where so much emphasis is placed on physical appearance and the desire for perfection - I felt isolated and alone.
We can halt the climbing cost of natural disasters, if we are ready to unite science and society to find a path towards a more sustainable use of the natural resources we rely on.
$192 billion a year is being taken out of Africa by the rich world - almost six and a half times the amount of 'aid' it receives... Africa is not poor, but its people are being kept in poverty by a combination of inequitable policies, huge disparities in power, and criminal activities perpetuated and sustained by wealthy elites.
I had the role of Anita, another girl who finds herself imprisoned in a brothel in Kolkata... 20 million people are in some form of slavery in the world, of that 4.5 million are victims of forced sexual exploitation, 5 million are children. And this "industry" is worth $150 billion a year in illegal profits.
Falconer's bill will alleviate the suffering of thousands of people nationwide by respecting their right to freedom of choice. We are clear, however, that in covering only those who are entering the last six months of their lives, this bill continues to restrict the rights of many more people who suffer just as much, but are 'merely' irrevocably ill.
In a taped recording he left to be played in the event of his assassination, Harvey Milk, America's first openly gay elected official, left a message for our times. "All young people," he said, "regardless of their sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment to achieve their full potential." Nowhere is the world further from that goal than in Africa.
With World War I and its horrors so much in the public mind I wanted to share the impact that this war to end all wars had on the day-to-day life of women and children in this country through the most normal of items - a knitted sock. The formidable Queen Mary led the movement to keep our troops warm during winter in the trenches, when Lord Kitchener asked her to undertake the huge task of providing 30,000 pairs of socks for our brave lads.
The development of effective and evidence-based psychological treatments is one of the major triumphs of the last decades. And based on this triumph, some folks say we don't really need to know why they work, we just need more of them. But that is jumping the gun on policy, and may just further embed the status quo into our management of mental health problems.
On Friday the Lords will debate the 'Assisted dying bill' and I am one if many disabled people that has been vocal in their opposition to this dangerous legislation, that is likely to be the starting point to the normalisation of 'mercy killings' and a societal pressure upon sick and disabled people to 'do the right' thing.
In October of last year, when Hollyoaks announced the introduction of a male rape storyline, many commentators queried the decision. A number suggested the issue had been "done already", citing the gang rape of Gary Lucy's character on the same soap back in 2000.
For me, breast cancer is both personal and professional. My sister, Adrienne, has breast cancer. Adrienne's cancer has spread to her bones, known as secondary breast cancer, for which there is currently no cure.
Earlier this year, when I was in Gaza, people everywhere asked me the same thing: "Ah, how do you find it here? What do you think of this place?" It's a challenging question. How do I find Gaza? Unexpectedly beautiful. Impossibly sad.