My friend's signature goodbye greeting when I'm getting into a taxi after a night out is "text me when you get home". She always says this. I rarely ever do remember to text her, but when I do, it's just to keep her happy. She has never been bothered when I don't text, which is worrying in its own way I suppose.
The safety and welfare of children must be paramount: there can be no compromise on that principle. But in many cases, a child's welfare is best served by staying with its mother if she can be supported to parent well. Today Nicky Morgan announces a new approach to children's services. But if we really want to improve children's welfare, we need to make sure there is support available for mothers too.
I was half way across the world from my family in the Philippines when Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc two years ago. As a Filipina citizen it was hard to see the footage; to hear my family talk about the devastation and the people they couldn't get in touch with. In some ways it was even harder knowing what was going to happen next.
Accountability is critical. There are lots of ways councils could be held to account. A commissioner, a taskforce, an ombudsperson: all of these have been suggested. These are all fine - as long as the government also ensures that local councils follow our list of five key priorities for the funding too.
When Osborne started to address the House of Commons about the tampon tax I was confused, but still hopeful. Might the Mother of Parliaments finally witness women-friendly policy-making? Er, no. I was staggered. I am still staggered. Not only is this decision incredibly disappointing, it is incredibly revealing.
We now have, for the first time, explicit targets to eliminate violence against women in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These demand accelerated action. When more than 70 world leaders took the podium in New York at the Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment on 27 September 2015, the majority named ending violence against women and girls as a priority for action. It is indeed a priority. I believe that if we all work together: governments, civil society organizations, the UN system, businesses, schools, and individuals mobilizing through new solidarity movements, we will eventually achieve a more equal world--a Planet 50-50--where women and girls can and will live free from violence.
Governments must ensure girls have knowledge of and support in exercising their own rights; a supportive environment where they can voice their concerns without fear of stigma or disbelief; assurance that they will not be re-victimised through a slow legal process; and girl-centred, specialist support services, if and when they are required.
At times, voices come back claiming that violence against women is in no way tolerated by most of our society, and some claim (perhaps condescendingly) that I am a victim of my own tragic loss, that I may be more prone to see violence where there is none, because my life has been shattered by it, after the violent death of my wife.
Its easy to be a little skeptical but hard not to be inspired by the ambition and potential of these unprecedented goals. Personally I think this represents a great leap forward and makes me hopeful about what we can achieve collectively in the next fifteen years. Remember, these are your Goals. Every single one of you.
People always ask me how I can work on violence against women? "Isn't is depressing?" they say. On my way to South Africa last week for the Sexual Violence Research Initiative Forum - the largest international conference on violence against women and girls in the Global South - the flight attendant said to me, "Don't you find it overwhelming?" For me, I wonder how I could not work on this issue.
The level of culture change that's needed for cyclists to feel safe all the time is dauntingly huge. At best, motorists are telling cyclists, "Yes this is our game, our bat, our ball, our rules - but you can play if you want. We own the road but you can use it. What more do you want?" What needs to happen is a new game, new rules. Power has to change hands. That's still a long way off.