Around the world it is estimated that one billion women and girls are subject to abuse. That is a horrifying thought and we want to support the "One Billion Rising" campaign to raise awareness of this and help to halt this abuse.
The abuse takes many forms and starts with the aborting of healthy foetuses simply because they are girls or maybe the killing of girl infants born. The abuse continues by denying girls access to education, forcing them into unwanted marriages, trafficking them into domestic or sexual slavery, multilating them in procedures called FGM, (Female Genital Mutilation), murdering them if they refuse to comply. These forms of abuse are worldwide and in this country we cannot be complacent because despite laws against these practices, it happens here too.
Our governments over the past 30 years have regularly talked about "Womens' Rights" but so much of it is rhetoric. FGM was outlawed in the 80's (by a Conservative administration). Nearly 30 years later there has not been one prosecution.
Murder for any reason has been a crime since time immemorial, however, "honour killings" keep on happening.
People trafficking is against the law, slavery was abolished in the this country over 200 years ago, yet we know the trade in womens' bodies continues.
What is "forced marriage" if not legalised rape. All of these things are against the law in Britain and yet they continue to happen.
It is farcical to say that you are concerned for womens' rights as the political establishment do. As proof of their concern they suggest there should be women only shortlists for the selection of parliamentary candidates (of course only if that doesn't conflict with getting your husband selected for a safe seat) or to say that what we need is another law requiring that all Footsie 100 companies have 50% women board members.
Tell that to a girl whose education is prematurely ended because she is forced into an unwanted marriage. Tell a woman who is routinely raped that she can now demand the right for females to sit on Boards of Directors. In practice the only people who could benefit from such legislation are women from among the ruling elite's buddies.
Just as Mr Clegg decided to "look the other way" when women in his own party complained about inappropriate behaviour, the whole "ruling elite" have massively turned away from addressing murder, torture and abuse within our own country by tying up the Police and legal services in "political correctness" giving these abuses pc names. Honour killing - what can ever be honourable about murder? Domestic violence - beating, raping, cutting up girls and women, is not "domestic", it's an outrage against the whole community - there's nothing domestic about it!
Until politicians stop posturing and address the issues of women's needs at their most fundamental, these abuses will continue to the shame of everyone in this country. It must stop. The tools are in place to stop it. The only thing missing is the political leadership from our ruling elite to do so.
In UKIP we are a party of principle, and as such, all of us will defend the rights of every woman in the country to their rightful protection under the law against abuses and exploitation.
Today, February 14th, we are saying to everyone please light a candle to show your support for all these victims, and to send the message to all our politicians that we care and have noticed your hypocracy and dereliction of duty. But most importantly to say to the child that has just been cut, the women being raped, you are not forgotten.
Let the little light be a small gesture of support and a ray of hope. Despite the fact that our politicians have ignored your desperate plight, our light is a demonstration that the British people do care, and want the laws enforced that will change your situation.