100 Women: Zainab Bangura says father wanted her to marry at 12
25 October 2013 Last updated at 10:18 BST
Zainab Bangura, the UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict, has told the 100 Women conference that great strides have been made in the position of women - in politics, business and daily life - over the past 100 years, but there is more to be done.
She spoke of her own experience in Sierra Leone where she and her mother were thrown out by her father after she refused to be married off aged 12.
She said: "We must have access to education, we must be fully represented in politics... we must be equal under the law."