I want to help these women and the women here in the UK at the same time. Hence, I have organised the #SheInspiresMeDance fundraising event, which will take place on Jan 25th at The Cafe de Paris, London. I am excited to bring together dynamic women to experience the adrenalin boost and feel good factor of this night of self expression.
How do you grieve for something that's not a physical being? You haven't lost a relative or friend, or your dog that you've had in the family since you were small. You don't get the usual 'I'm sorry for your loss', because have you actually lost anything? For anyone who's been through or going through this then of course the answer is yes.
Alex Chalk, MP submitted a Private Members Bill to Parliament and this week the House of Lords approved it. The Government was defeated on Monday as peers passed a Policing and Crime Bill amendment, which was tabled by Labour's Baroness Royall and supported by crossbenchers, Tories and Liberal Democrats. This is a great step forward.
In June 2012, the UK government signed the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, known as the Istanbul Convention. But years later it still has yet to ratify the convention, which would bring into legal force measures, among others, requiring the UK to protect from and prevent violence against women, and to prosecute perpetrators who are nationals or resident in the UK - wherever they commit the act of violence... The longer the government drags its feet on ratifying the Istanbul Convention, the longer it seems to send the message that it is happier to pay lip service to the problem than actually taking concrete steps to solve it.
This Christmas potentially millions of girls living around the world will be facing the risk of sexual violence and exploitation. But putting an exact number on just how many is impossible. The problem is often hidden and concrete figures are hard to come by. These are invisible girls - children who fall through the cracks, who are frequently barely noticed and can face horrific sexual violence.
As the world marks the UN's International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, I stand with millions of men and women around the world to say NO to violence! We will not accept that violence is a part of culture. We reject any suggestions that women and girls are mere possessions to be used and abused.
Now more than ever we need strong, powerful and courageous women to stand up and be the champions, just as Hillary Clinton has been, for women and girls everywhere, all over the world. We need women and girls everywhere to continue to demand that violence and sexual harassment are at all times, unacceptable.
Victimhood is not a competition. There should be help for all who need it. But by cutting services for women, lives are put at risk. Of course men need support to recover from domestic abuse. But to deny that iceberg exists, to deny the roots of the still-rising tide of violence against women in misogyny and inequality, is to turn our backs on prevention.
We do not accept that violence against women and girls occurring in conflict is fundamentally separate from more everyday 'normal' forms of VAWG (like domestic violence). It all comes back to the way women are treated in society, with a premium placed on women's sexual purity as part of wider controls and discrimination on women's bodies, behaviour and appearance.
Theresa May could be a much needed breath of fresh air to the government's approach on sex education: as Home Secretary it is rumoured she was supportive of bids to make the subject compulsory. With a wafer-thin majority, and battle ahead with Brexit, she may not be willing to use up political capital on revisiting it.