When grassroots communities described their realities, they taught me that the development they envisioned is not the same as the development the majority of the world imagines they want. In their own narrative, the strongest message from communities is a deep desire to be given the ability to do it for themselves.
Sexual violence is a specifically reprehensible form of violence, and includes rape and any other attack of a sexual nature perpetuated against both males and females. Its repercussions can be iniquitous, and may include acute and physical repercussions for survivors and witnesses. Human trafficking can also lead to sexual violence, and I will be discussing the issue of 'modern slavery' in this article. I will also highlight the brutal effects of sexual violence in conflict.
Encouraging the Palestinians to accede to the ICC, which they have been eligible to do since attaining Observer State status at the UN in 2012, would introduce an accountability mechanism that would deter future violence. It would also provide an incentive for each side to stay at the negotiating table.
I believe that if children are to enjoy their right to an education they must be taught by teachers who are properly trained and supported. There is a pressing need to consider how best to train teachers - both new teachers and up-skilling the large numbers of currently unqualified and under-qualified teachers through in-service training.
British engineering is facing a serious skills shortage. Yesterday, the think tank IPPR published a report claiming that 'an additional 87,000 graduate level engineers will be needed in the UK each year between now and 2020' in order to meet growing demand, but that 'the higher education system is only producing 46,000 engineering graduates annually'. Well as a starter for ten, that maths doesn't look good.
I believe my inner feminist has always been within me. Far from lying dormant, it has been growing since I was child. I grew up in a house with four other females and one male. Only when I went to school and started learning of gender inequalities (the lack of education is argued to be the epitome and root of gender inequality) I came to realise how much I was in the minority, as too was my father.
Across the world, there are 108 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, with more people displaced by violence than ever before. These people have had their lives torn apart by war and natural disaster, and many are starving and in dire need of shelters and medical assistance. Most of them are women and children.
Why aren't people on the streets in protest at North Korea's crimes in large numbers, the way they are over Gaza or were over the war in Iraq? Why isn't there a mass public movement, of the kind that helped bring down apartheid in South Africa? Why aren't Bono, Richard Gere, George Clooney and Angelina Jolie doing anything to bring the North Korea cause into our hearts and homes?
As Israeli missiles lay waste to Gaza, Hamas rockets fly and innocents die in civilian planes downed in eastern Ukraine, Syria has slipped even furthe...