Violence can never and should never, be justified under the banner of culture. Men do not allow violence to be perpetrated against them, or to be justified or excused as culture, and neither should women. Any act that causes physical or psychological harm and creates an environment where one does not have access to the same rights and opportunities as others, must be condemned.
The human trafficking industry - already the most profitable international criminal enterprise after the drugs and arms trades - is posting higher profits than ever. In 2005, UN estimated that it was a $32billion per year industry, based on International Labor Organization estimates that 20.9 million people suffered from forced slavery.
There can't be many countries who face famine as their GDP rises by 14%. Yet that is the situation in the West African state of Niger, where appeals launched this week to help some 400,000 people now at risk from severe malnutrition. At the same time as an oil boom kicks in and IMF analysis predicts a rise in government income of 30% in 2012.