For centuries, we've been stuck with the status quo: in the corporate world, in international affairs, in education, sports, media and everything in-between. The present state of affairs is very evidently not working, and yet it endures. It's time to start saying, loudly, "this isn't good enough anymore."
If we look at the headlines or the latest horrifying YouTube clip, International Women's Day may seem a bad time to celebrate equality for women. But alongside the stories of extraordinary atrocity and everyday violence lies another reality, one where more girls are in school and more are earning qualifications than ever before; where maternal mortality is at an all-time low; where more women are in leadership positions, and where women are increasingly standing up, speaking out and demanding action.
The systems in place to protect women from male violence are not working. The Femicide Census, launched today, makes that clear... We hope the census will be a wake up call to our imminent new government, of whatever colour, to ensure that one agency locally is held accountable for understanding and meeting the needs of women experiencing and escaping domestic violence, to preserve the national network of life-saving women's refuges, and above all to make solving this crisis one of the most urgent social policy priorities.
One million girls being disappeared only because they are girls is a gendercide. And it's an annual occurrence in the world's largest democracy that will happen again in 2015, and perhaps grow in numbers by 2016 and future years without pressure for change. So here's a hashtag to start a conversation: #Indiabringbackourgirls
There is a wall of ignorance standing between victims of domestic violence and the rest of us. The constant question "why doesn't she just leave him?" has such a simple answer: she fears she will be killed. The two women a week who are killed, on average, by a partner or former partner, bear silent witness to this.