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Today I spoke in an important debate on the work of women who defend human rights globally and highlighted how the UK Government must do all it can to assist these ordinary women doing extraordinary things.

Across the world we see human rights under threat, and women human rights defenders face greater discrimination and attacks, and gender-based violence

I highlighted women human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia, who face appalling treatment such as electric shock treatment, flogging, sexual threats and other forms of torture as punishment for demanding human rights that we in the west take for granted, such as being allowed to drive or to be recognised as an individual and not the property of their closest male relative. We have heard reports of women seeking such rights being tortured, being blocked from seeing lawyers or their families for months, and subject to smear campaigns by state media, all for peacefully campaigning for greater respect for human rights.

The UK and the international community needs to make clear to the Saudi regime and other such misogynistic regimes that we will not tolerate these flagrant human rights violations. Saudi Arabia is a barbaric regime and the fact that it is a rich state should not make us complicit in medieval treatment of women.

Click below to watch my contribution.

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