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Whether the next UK Prime Minister is Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, or Tim Farron – the impact of the new government will have ripple effects not just in Britain, but worldwide.
For the last year, some of the media’s most powerful voices have been criticising the UK’s compassion and generosity. As children flee bombs in Syria, starve in Yemen, and suffer the unjust effects of poverty worldwide, the Daily Mail calls the UK’s international aid budget “bloated”, “obscene”, and “madness”. Now is the time to speak up.
And here is just one reason why: “When I was 8 months pregnant, he punished me… he took me up to the pond and forced me into the water up to my neck. It was freezing cold. Then he bandaged all my joints, my knees and elbows, in old cloths and beat them with a hammer.”
This is Rekha’s story. As a woman in Bangladesh, she experienced abuse and violence in her marriage – until our international aid budget helped her break free. Attending a local women’s rights group – part-funded by UK aid – Rekha escaped the cycle of abuse and now leads other women to do the same.
I believe that whoever is in power after 8 June must protect our aid budget, and the impact it has for women like Rekha. Continue reading