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.
Now is not a time for excuses, now is a time for action. The very fact we are in the midst of a crisis on this scale is proof that the international community has not yet done enough. This epidemic can, and must, be overcome. But the question now is how many more will have to die before it is, how many of those tragic deaths could have been avoided.
By affirming without ambiguity that both Israelis and Palestinians have equal rights to statehood, international recognition of the State of Palestine can help break this impasse. That is why another amendment tabled by Jack Straw and other senior MPs makes clear that by voting for recognition today MPs will contribute to securing a negotiated two state solution.
Although she is absolutely right, not all countries measure gender equality on a pay scale. In many communities in India, for example, a housewife is seen as being of equal value to a breadwinner, or priceless. And for any feminist approach to work effectively in the country, it needs to recognise the distinct values upheld by such cultures.
The inside of the UN Climate Summit in New York last week was a strange place. I arrived expecting to spend the day hearing sombre heads of state outline what their nations would be doing to tackle climate change. I didn't expect to end the day watching a performance by British pop hit, circa 2005, Natasha Bedingfield.
Mrs Jeyakumari and her daughter were well known activists who had been among the crowds which mobbed British prime minister David Cameron when he visited the former war zone in Jaffna in November last year. Three months later Mrs Jeyakumari sent me a video address in which she warned that she was being followed and harassed as a result of her campaign.
It is unfair to blame any stigma around the feminist movement solely on the media representation of an archetypal feminist. I don't believe a true feminist hates men - they simply aspire to live life on a level playing field. Women should have equal pay. Men should have their parental value equally compensated. Equality gaps exist for both sexes ergo both sexes have a motivation to achieve parity.
Emma's set out the direction we need to head in, but in order to genuinely permeate our society's consciousness on the gender issue for good, we need to re-tune our media's frame of reference. Just think how many girls came to know of Emma's addressing the UN via an article dominated by images of her outfit...
Sunday saw the largest mobilisation of climate activists and the general public calling for urgent action on climate change in history. The numbers were truly astounding, with over 2,000 events across the globe. More than 40,000 people took part in London and 100,000 in New York, including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.