Rising early means beating the unbearable heat that makes her journey on foot with a heavy load of maize on her head even more arduous. It means getting to the border crossing before custom officials - who frequently ask her for a bribe or worse - and securing a place at the market ahead of her competitors.
Experts working in gender violence say there are only a few centres across Italy dedicated to helping violent men challenge and change their behaviour, though the scale of the problem deserves greater resources.
I have temporarily swapped slovenly student life for that of a suited city slicker. With my track record in high heels, "city-stumbler" would be a more accurate description. I identify with this term, a "Helena original", not only due to my distinct lack of work experience but also as a result of my natural clumsiness in the workplace.
Can we really be superwoman and 'have it all' or is it our time to find the balance in our lives and ask for what we want rather than assume we have to be brilliant at everything?
We all know that drag is most commonly associated with describing a man in women's clothing (before I get corrected here, yes I know that it is used the other way around too), but the real drag is a woman who is feminine on the inside and yet putting on a masculine mask.
If an African girl wanted FGM we would be outraged, and rightly so. Why would we cut girls to control their sexuality and satisfy men? We can all agree on this. Yet when a girl from a non-FGM practicing community wants to be cut, trimmed or tucked we're told it's her choice. Aren't both examples of cultural coercion? Are we saying one happens to adults and the other to children? To some extend, that's true. But there are nine-year old girls, accompanied by their mothers, asking for cosmetic surgery on the NHS. Girls with normal genitals. Confused? Me too.
Walking through the lobby at work, I spotted it immediately. Hanging, totally blasé, in the nook of a woman's arm. But it wasn't just the one. In fact, there were dozens of them, swinging casually from limbs.
Do you feel needy for approval and want to be liked by everyone? Do you sometimes find you automatically say yes without considering the consequences?
'Thank you for your email of today regarding Page 3 girls in the Sun. While I understand that some people are offended at seeing naked breasts, this particular page is something of a national institution, providing the girls with a job and Sun readers with some light and harmless entertainment.'
At the moment, Rebecca Adlington is in the jungle but the reception she has got is a good show of the pressure athletes are under. Where the male athletes have women drooling over their six packs, I feel as a female athlete, you are constantly being judged on your body.
When I turned 30 - I went through all the stages: denial, as I sank the contents of our drinks cabinet refusing to acknowledge that now my hangovers take a sodding two days to clear. Anger, as I looked back at photos of my misspent 20s wondering why I didn't love myself more or appreciate what a much better body I had.
Erectile dysfunction. Prostate cancer. Urinary hesitancy. With men's health there's not an issue out there that isn't talked about. And yet, when it comes to the business of lady parts, we suddenly seem to get very shy indeed.
When scientists announced this week that the male contraceptive pill is a step closer to being developed my first thought was 'It took them 52 years since the female pill to get this far.'
As important as our heels and handbags are (I worship at the altars of Blahnik and Choo whenever I can)...our obsession with gaining 'equality' with the boys is costing us...and while we might be aware of the symptoms...we're oblivious to the cause.
Any sex difference could plausibly be due to difference in the time-course of development between men and women. But, in general, it isn't the technical details which I am equipped to critique. It's a fair assumption to believe what the researchers have found, so let's turn instead to how it is being interpreted.
There is not much you can do to change the facts from the past! But there are powerful things you can do to change how you feel, pick you up and feel awesome regardless of the circumstances in your life.