At night, temperatures on the Greek island of Lesvos are falling to single digits. Refugee families are enduring winter temperatures in thin tents or temporary shelters, quickly constructed out of tarpaulin sheets and poles. Pregnant women and tiny babies are amongst the most vulnerable. They have survived long and dangerous journeys to get to Lesvos, but they are still struggling to keep warm this winter.
Last year, to mark Zero Tolerance to FGM Day, I wrote a blog - So, what's so bad about FGM? - as I realised that not enough people know the answer to that question. Because it's taboo to talk about it, people often don't know how damaging FGM is, but when they do, they can play a crucial role in campaigning against it, including men, as our new project in Somaliland goes to show.
I was mutilated when I was six years old. It was the most painful thing I can imagine and has caused me on-going problems ever since. I don’t have a daughter of my own to protect, but I don’t want anyone’s daughter to ever have to have FGM and suffer the way I have, and countless generations of women before me. This is my story.
Malawi is the poorest country in the world. And thanks to an unfair tax agreement, signed with the UK over half a century ago, British companies who work there can get away with paying hardly any tax in the country. That means essential public services like schools and hospitals are starved of funds, so that Malawi’s poorest women and girls pay the price for this tax dodging.
It’s time for that to change.
Taxes are the key building blocks of societies. They pay for the vast array of public services that societies rely on, and that people living in poverty so badly need. But when tax dodging starves public services of funding, it’s women and girls who pay the highest price. Why? Let's take a look.
"My name is Siba. I am 19 years old and I want to be a doctor. I fled from southern Syria after life became too dangerous for us. The turning point came when a bomb went off and my father was injured in the face and hands.