Rape needs to be understood as a crime of violence against women as women, not as offences the property 'rights' of husbands or families nor a symbolic assault upon the identity a the enemy... A world without rape must start from the respect for women's rights over their own body: in war and peace.
There are currently six women presenting solo shows at Xfm London. There are fourteen men. So comparatively we are bucking the trend at 30% females (versus the national average of 20%). Imagine a male DJ joining a station and finding himself one of only six men amongst fourteen female presenters. Do you think for one moment he would proclaim to his friends that he is "lucky to be amongst so many male presenters"?
We women, stopped trying to bring our remarkable female qualities that can only benefit our relationship, our career, our social circles, our community. We think of our unique qualities as something to be ashamed of, given our inner beauty and our female nature held us captives in a male world... only decades ago.
Now that George Osborne has shown his support, we need to persuade the rest of Europe to stop taxing periods too before we start to see some real changes... Together we can stop the sanitary tax that has marginalised issues traditionally associated with women, damaged the accessibility of a vital item and jeopardised the sexual health of millions across the world.
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 celebration of women should be done every day, but in the upcoming International Women's Day I will celebrate the fact that I am a woman living in the UK.
As I've got older, I've had to adjust to the 'cloak of invisibility' slowly descending around me, as the male gaze opts for a younger, fresher target. At first, I felt really sad about it, but as the months have gone on, I've realised that it is one of the most liberating things that has ever happened to me.
With 2014 now behind us why don't we all jump off the 'perfect female body' bandwagon or who knows where it will take us in 2015? So no Jasper Conran I don't want your revolutionary shape enhancing jeans or what's next? Maybe the ankle will make a comeback and I'll be forced to buy padded socks.
International Women's Day is one of my favourite days of the year. It's a day that gifts us that much needed prompt when we are stalling, to remember how wonderful and important we are, how far we have come, and most importantly how far we have to go.... We need each other. More than ever before. While the smoke is much appreciated, we need a full on fire in order to make a substantial change to the billions of women being held back by the chains of tradition and lack of effect.
Are we as women simply meant to throw on a leotard and hit up a step aerobics class armed with one pound weights for fear we will "bulk up"? It is really time to help move the conversation along.
Being confident, strong AND ambitious has become something many women don't want to be seen as. We have all seen how a bright star has be brought tumbling down to earth. How people say, "there's just something about her I don't like, can't put my finger on it."
Instead of focusing on finding ways to encourage women to feel good about themselves regardless of the perfected images that engulf us, it's as if we're choosing "beautiful" women to throw under the bus to make us feel better about ourselves.
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.
As parliamentarians, it is our responsibility to continue the work of Aissatou and Fahma. To deliver real legislative action and lasting change to protect and prevent more girls becoming victims of this appalling abuse, here and throughout the World.
I am speaking out because I believe in breaking the culture of silence that is so prevalent in my country. Women and girls are mutilated and they also risk a lifelong sentence of pain, infection, infertility and even death... Only when this violation is clearly banned by law and people are held accountable and fear the penalties will it end.
Choice is what should be promoted, not exclusively breastfeeding. I am absolutely sick to the gills of health professionals and the NHS and antenatal/postnatal professionals, and worst culprits of all, fellow mothers, constantly banging on about how important it is to breastfeed.