We have made progress at work, in education and public services, and in pensions and child care, but we seem to have gone backwards in the public portrayal of women and the impact that is having on our self-esteem and the way men treat us.
Emerging markets are not making use of women's talents and are facilitating an environment that is not only stunting for female aspirations, but can also become dangerous for women, which was illustrated by the shooting of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban for campaigning for women's rights to education.
With International Women's Day upon us, there's absolutely no reason for you not to get involved. You've literally got no excuse not to join in the movement. Except that, of course, there's no 'movement' involved of any kind.
For me International Women's Day is an opportunity to remember some of the incredible women who have helped us win the rights we enjoy today here in the UK. Progress has been slow but this world is unrecognisable to us today, and it is hard to imagine the courage and passion of countless people that it has taken to change this status quo.
Since the late 18th century, the prospect of full and equal citizenship has animated generations of feminists. Yet citizenship is a troubling proposition for feminism because whilst it promises inclusion it always also enacts exclusion. Citizenship simultaneously creates insiders and outsiders - citizens and aliens, as well as good citizens and bad citizens.
Since International Women's Day was first celebrated at the beginning of the last century it has grown to include businesses, communities, political parties and pressure groups as well as education providers. The world of further education (FE) is no exception in that it truly supports this important calendar date...
During the debate, a select number of male students, including former committee members and even an ex-president, made sexual comments about our appearance, shouted "shame woman", booed loudly and questioned "what does a woman know anyway?".
The UK has a duty to get behind this momentum and do all we can to keep it going. We owe it to the millions of girls who are at risk of being cut every year. And this is why the UK, through the Department for International Development, will this year become the largest single investor in ending female genital cutting.
It is sometimes too easy to think that those with greater power and a greater following have more authority to make a change or make a difference. I believe anyone, as long as they have the compassion and passion can do just as much.
As the 900 babies born with HIV every day remind us, women and girls shoulder an unfair burden of the HIV epidemic. Yet over the past three decades I have worked on this, many of the vital struggles around stigma, discrimination, sexism and marginalisation have simply not moved.
I remember, when I was involved in a drama project at a British women's prison, being quite shocked by the fact that, more often than not, when a woman enters prison, her whole support network disintegrates...
Think women, think retail. Women do 83% of the shopping and buy 96% of beauty products, 93% of food, 92% of holidays, 60% of all new cars and 55% of home computers. So are women crowded into board rooms to offer their perspective? Not exactly. In 2011, women held just 16.1 % of board seats at Fortune 500 companies and 15% of FTSE 100 companies in 2012.
My best mate Steve is just back from a glam trip to LA and is filling me in on all the gossip as we nurse giant measures of Amaretto - for some reason that's a 'thing' with us. After a while he settles back and asks me what's been going on back here in the fortnight he's been away. I take a deep breath and tell him.
The coalition government has provided nearly £40 million of ring-fenced funding for specialist domestic and sexual violence services, and national helplines. We've invested in changing attitudes and behaviours. You may have seen the UK television adverts we've launched to tackle rape and relationship abuse amongst teenagers. We've reformed our legislation, introducing two new stalking offences to better protect victims and better support the police and prosecutors who bring about justice. But we can and must do more.
Women of the Middle East: oh those poor oppressed souls; forced to cover themselves from head to toe by their polygamous, blood relative husbands who consider them like a commodity. Or are they?
After a story trailed in the Sunday Times about a UK Government fund ending FGC, it seemed that the question on everyone's lips was 'how much?' We knew that it was likely to be in the tens of millions, and in the female genital cutting sector that is an unprecedented amount.