Hygiene, sanitation and water are critical issues for woman and girls,and must be included in the post-2015 gender debate. Without these crucial, but often ignored rights, women will continue to be discriminated against. Period.
I'm still driven by the same instincts to be better and to help develop others, but success is not defined in terms of survival anymore. It's not defined by a badge, a rank or a medal; it's about something so much more important than that, something more personal, something intangible.
I have the privilege to share my thoughts whether it is out of anger, frustration or happiness. Although theoretically I've always known this is a privilege, I have only now understood how precious this freedom is. In my recent work, I met women and girls who cannot think freely, let alone speak out...
While there is still work to do here too, I easily count myself lucky to be a woman in the UK. I have three grandsons and I hope that my next grandchild will be a girl. If I was a woman in Afghanistan, I would want all my grandchildren to be boys. On International Women's Day let our mantra be that if it isn't good enough for women here then it isn't good enough for women anywhere.
Despite the strength of female empowerment, there remains one last taboo silenced in society. It is time to change and have a relevant, intelligent conversation about self-pleasure, and face the naked truth that females masturbate.
India, has over 70 events, and Nigeria has 25: two countries which don't score particularly highly when gender equality is measured. Even Saudi Arabia has 1 event. So why do Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, the four countries which founded International Women's Day in 1911 have a total between them of only 7 events?
There are a huge number of activities going on around the world to improve the situation for women, and there are places where men are working with women to achieve this. There's no doubt that this movement is gaining momentum and makes nonsense of the idea that men cannot see women as equals. It's an outdated way of thinking, and increasingly governments, businesses, communities and families are all coming to recognise the positive benefits to be had when women and men are working together and treating each other as equal partners. Of the numerous ways to change women's lives for the better, I've picked out five things that you can do to help make that change today:
This weekend we mark the 103rd International Women's Day. It's an opportunity to celebrate women's social, economic and political achievements and, just as importantly, to highlight the barriers to full equality that still exist, more than a century on.
To celebrate International Women's Day I went to Africa with Sport Relief earlier this week to visit two projects working hard to empower young women living in the continent's biggest slum. Here are the eight things that inspired me the most during my time in Nairobi, Kenya...
On this International Women's Day, we are talking about inspiring change. We are looking to challenge the status quo, and that includes the ability to get to a toilet.
It is your first International Women's Day. At seven months old, you are oblivious to the notion that our sex has struggled for equality. You do not know this day has been marked out in calendars annually for over a century. You understand nothing of the battle women fought to be treated fairly.
I have just returned from 3 days in Kosovo visiting our Women for Women International (WFWI) Programme which focuses on giving socially excluded, poor women access to knowledge and resources, to help them build better lives for them, their families and community.
I am a 26-year-old married mother of five children, including 4 boys and one girl. Growing up, my family was very poor. My father was unemployed, and my mother cultivated land for other people. My mother had 12 children, including myself, but six of my older siblings died. Because my parents could not afford tuition fees for me, I stopped school after 4th grade. Instead, I worked to cultivate my family's fields.
I am an ordinary woman living in Rukara Sector of Kayonza District. My life used to be very hard, the only source of revenue was coming from tailoring from which I could not even raise enough money to sustain our basic needs. Even the sewing machine I was using I was renting for 3,000 Rwandan francs a month.
During the war, my family (my husband, five children and parents-in-law) and I were forced by the Serb police to leave our house. We had no choice but try to escape to Albania. On our way there the Serb forces maltreated us in different ways, by searching us, threatening to kill us etc. But fortunately we managed to cross the border and go to Albania.
One day we received news that an organization called Women for Women started enrolling women in life skills renewal program. I thought there was nothing to be renewed after all those lives have been lost.