The most conflicting aspect of feeling sorry for these women, and angry at the system that did this to them, was that I also grew up being told their job was empowering. It was liberating, as a woman, to have the agency to choose to sell your body for money, because your body is 'an asset' and yours to 'sell', if you so choose.
The sad fact is, in too many schools across the country sexism just isn't taken seriously enough. Instead, it's trivialised and often ignored. Girls are told 'it's just a bit of harmless fun', 'it's part of growing up' and 'boys will be boys'. This has to stop.
That first day in the family courts was one of the worst of my life. I was standing in the courtroom, a stern-looking district judge on high. And the man who'd repeatedly raped me, assaulted me, threatened my life and our children's lives, standing just a few feet away. No protection measures in place - nothing.
I never received any sex and relationship education and I know that had a significant effect on me and my childhood. It won't solve everything, but I am sure it would go a long way to helping this issue and more generally, result in happier and more confident adults.
If staff in schools are really worried about boys viewing girls as sexual objects, they should be giving those boys lessons in how to respect women, rather than training girls in the art of dressing like a nun.
Laws do not and will never stop the trade of sex. Decreeing sex work illegal simply puts already vulnerable people in greater danger. Social integration, discourse and an informed flexible legal structure is the way forward. Prostitutes need platforms, not cells.
Age and children have made me more fearful. I have been changed by the constant news stories that detail women being attacked at night. Their stories have seeped into my skin and become a part of me.
By supporting our research scientists in popularizing their research and findings through innovative and impactful formats, we want to demonstrate that science is accessible -- not to mention exciting and rewarding! -- as well as useful, if not crucial, for society.
It's encouraging that we're having more public conversations about gender inequality. But we're not yet talking enough about women who are at the sharpest end of this inequality, whose needs are the most complex: those who face the most disadvantage.
From Susan Sarandon to Rihanna, Taylor Swift to Theresa May ripping women apart for their appearances is nothing new. And whilst judging a woman based on her outfit choice is puke-inducing at the best of times, at the worst it can be something far more unpleasant.
FGM, like veiling is not a practice confined to far off lands. FGM continues to be practiced illegally on British born girls, with a case reported in the UK approximately every two hours. If FGM is carried out on a white child in Britain, it will be regarded as criminal - so why does this position shift when a Somali child is violated?
After working so hard to climb the social ladder, here I was sat in a 'dole' office asking for handouts because I had had the 'misfortune' of getting pregnant. With mounting debt and constant guilt about financial pressure on my partner, I lost all sense of self.
To all of the 300,000 supporters of my Change.org and the tireless campaigners that protests on the streets with me numerous times over the past two years, I want to say a final huge thank you and congratulations. YOU are the ones who have changed history. Without you, this would never have been possible and generations more women may well have been subject to the illogical and overtly sexist tampon tax. For the first time in two years, I can say WELL DONE, WE DID IT!!
80million children had their education affected by conflicts and natural disasters in 2015. Girls are particularly disadvantaged being 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys in countries affected by conflict. Alas, the devastating news does not stop there: the situation is getting worse instead of better due to increasingly dangerous geopolitics around the globe. We need to act urgently to ensure that girls are protected and don't become the immediate casualties each time a new crisis unfolds.
I wish I had space to tell you about all the incredible people I have met on this journey, the positivity and fight you get to experience in the oncology centre. The kindness and generosity people you barely know will show you. But I am afraid I don't - so I hope you enjoyed reading my story.
The Chancellor has cut taxes for corporations and lifted the threshold for the 40p income tax - both measures that will predominantly benefit men - while making cuts to essential services and to benefits for people with disabilities.