The phenomenon of forcing young girls to marry hasn't stopped and we hear sad stories every day. We want that to change - and believe that change is within our grasp... Women shouldn't have to be victims. I suffered domestic violence but now I'm speaking out. I refuse to live under the ruins of my past.
Berlin's ninth annual Festival of Lights kicked off last week, one of the best-known illumination festivals in the world, running from October 9 to October 20.
An eerie calm descends over Al Waer, an outer suburb of Homs, as we enter an area that is home to some 400,000 people caught in the middle of on-going conflict. I am part of a joint mission, including UNICEF, WFP, OCHA, UNDSS, and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, here to access the humanitarian situation.
Scolastica, a 33-year-old single mother and urban chicken farmer in Tanzania, set up her poultry business in 2005, itself a brave step for a woman to make in such a patriarchal society. Things ticked along relatively well. But when three years ago, a virus swept through her flock and killed 600 of her 900 birds in less than a week - even someone with the drive and determination of Scolastica thought her dream was over. That's when Comic Relief stepped in and her luck began to change.
Visualise dolphins jumping and performing tricks for tourists as they clap and cheer. Children laughing as their parents sit nearby. Then visualise the fresh scent of newly spilled blood, the screams of mothers as their babies are ripped from their sight and dead bodies being dragged away one by one.
One percent of the world's population own half of the world's wealth. Meanwhile, the poorest people on earth, who constitute two thirds of the world's population, own just 3% of the world's wealth. This is clearly nuts. This hasn't happened overnight. The global disparity between incomes has been spiralling out of control over the last few decades.
A new Amnesty report paints a bleak picture of Muslim mobs smashing their way into Coptic Christian churches in Upper Egypt this August. The attackers, sometimes hundreds strong, beat up worshippers and church staff, stripped out all the valuables (right down to air conditioning units and electric cables) and then burnt buildings to the ground.
News of the abduction of Libya's Prime Minister, Ali Zeidan, recently made the headlines around the world. The former human rights lawyer, who for decades fought against Qaddafi's regime from his exile in Geneva, was being held captive by a militia that supposedly is allied to his own government. How did such an absurd situation come about?
The agreement brokered between the USA and Russia on the transfer and destruction of Syria's chemical weapons by mid 2014 is not just ambitious, but almost certainly unachievable... The logistical challenge of disarming a regime of chemical weapons whilst it is fighting a brutal civil war are extremely daunting.
A little over a year ago I highlighted the work of PAWA, the Pan Asian Women's Association, which focuses on global development and girls' and women's empowerment across multiple territories. By raising and carefully apportioning funds for credible, manageable-scale local charities, PAWA's work covers 30 countries from Iran to Japan, Indonesia to Kazakhstan.
It's been a good year so far for BLUE Marine Foundation, the UK-based ocean conservation charity I'm involved with. In fact, it's been a good three years since startup. And this week was no exception: I felt a big flicker of pride when I saw the fantastic partnership that BLUE has developed with Kenzo come to life on the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week on Monday.