Women in developing countries face massive barriers in accessing health care due to cultural restrictions, geographical limitations, and discrimination because of their gender. One of the most inspirational groups of women I've met during my travels - women who are breaking through these barriers everyday - are the female health workers of Asia.
Ashdown appears unbridled by, or wilfully ignorant of, the fundamental issues which make a mockery of his analysis. While he is right to point out that some of the issues which concern people about the growing use of drone warfare are reflected in extant military practices, his conclusions are baffling and misplaced.
What has gone wrong? Why can't we get our act together? Although a number of factors contribute to this quagmire, it is the misuse and abuse of three attributes of state governance that is the root cause of many of the problems we face today - politics, democracy, and accountability are the most widely misunderstood words in the country.
Diverse issues like instability in the Middle East, the financial crisis and climate change, all bear the footprint of the US. It is therefore incontrovertible that if we, here in the UK, wish to genuinely affect such issues, it is in our vital strategic interest to cement the 'special relationship.'
While the debate continues over whether 2012 really was the so-called 'year of the woman' (or "year of the year of the woman" as the New York Times dubbed it, 2013 has so far been something of a mixed bag for the fairer sex. The news, uncovered on Friday, that the Church of England is to lift its ban on gay members of the clergy from becoming bishops, was undoubtedly a huge step in the right direction for the Church, but it rather showed up the fact that women still don't get the same privilege.