gender based violence
A few weeks ago, Betty caused controversy by speaking out about the disturbing prevalence of FGM in the UK. She maintains that it's not uncommon for babies and young girls to be taken overseas to be "stitched up" or attend "cutting parties" in the UK, where group rates are offered to reduce costs.
Violence against women often appears to be so pervasive and complex that it seems insurmountable. But it is preventable. For the first time, a new UN study on men and violence includes data from men themselves, across a number of countries, that tells us why some men use violence against women and how this can be prevented... We must address power imbalances between men and women and promote ways of being a man that value respect, non-violence and equality. This is possible.
Fears of regional spillover, the growing number of European jihadists who could prove a future threat and the escalating refugee crisis dominate the headlines but there is one element that is consistently absent from discussion at the policy level. That issue is sexual violence.
The truth is that men, through socially defined 'masculinity', have always enjoyed a privileged relationship with social and economic power. Through history, the idea of 'manhood' has been centred in physical strength, toughness, earning, providing, and dominating, creating a paradigm in which we have been collectively socialised to the idea of 'masculinity' within every faculty of our psyche.
Kamla navigates the ruthless suburbs of Delhi carrying a safety pin concealed in her hand. This is the only way the 15-year-old can survive the journey to her computer coaching centre using public transport buses.
International Women's Day is a chance to recognise the commonalities in women's experiences that exist across the world. It should also remind us that the international community can play a part in encouraging states to implement measures that promote women's empowerment.
The primary problem with One Billion Rising is its refusal to name the root cause of women's inequality; its outright refusal to point the finger at a patriarchal system which cultivates masculinity and which uses the control and subjugation of women's bodies as an outlet for that machoism.
60% of Zambians live on less than $1 a day. In rural Zambia, 57% live in extreme poverty and are unable to meet basic food needs. Through the social protection programme, 99,000 recipients (84% of them women) will be reached by 2015 - over 60% supported by UK aid.