One of the rewards of helping to track global education over the past decade has been watching progress in getting more girls into school. But as we mark International Women's Day, I'm more conscious than ever that the glass is still not even half full: 31 million girls have never set foot inside a classroom, and half of them are unlikely ever to do so.
When I visited a refugee registration centre in Lebanon recently, I heard stories of young children who have been through shocking experiences. Syrian boys and girls have fled conflict, lost their homes and watched friends and family members being killed. And now these children are facing another threat - the often hidden horror of sexual violence.
Last month Scotland took a big step towards a shared ambition to make our country among the best in the world to grow up. The Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill is a landmark piece of legislation to deliver greater support for children and families through a range of measures, including improvements to how we help our most vulnerable young people in care.
Child poverty costs this country £29billion a year, and will rise to £35billion by 2020 if the projections prove accurate. Other countries are doing far better on the existing - internationally recognised - measures. It's not the child poverty targets that are 'discredited', but the government's approach to meeting them.
I've certainly been guilty of sharing and Smoasting, especially the F***-Off Boasting About Your Child posts: when our 19-month-old completely surprised us by counting to 10, I was bursting with pride and wanted to shout it from every rooftop but I stopped myself. Because, actually, do I really need 40 likes to affirm that our son is as bright as a button?
Experience shows that frequent change of partners without deeper commitment and a meaningful responsibility towards each other is one of the main reasons for an increasing number of 'problem children' in many developed countries. They cost us educationally, socially and economically. This is a big worry for social scientists, educationalists and many parents.
I know Tom is not yet 6 but he has only ever been invited to one birthday party and we have never held one for him. This may change as he gets older and I always feel guilty about this although it is irrational. We do celebrate in other ways though, last year we went to his favourite farm. I am not sure where we will go this year, maybe the farm again.
The 'debate' this week in Parliament regarding smoking in cars with child passengers had me hanging my head in disbelief. We are talking about an activity that puts more than 4,000 chemicals into the air, a number of which are known to cause cancer. Why are we debating it at all... and why are people in our government still opposing it?
Those who devote their energies to stopping same-sex marriage may very well be motivated by a genuine, albeit misplaced, fear over child welfare. If child welfare really is such a concern, perhaps they should review the evidence and direct just a fraction of their energy towards creating a more equal society...
Last week, I was part of a UN inter-agency convoy that brought much-needed emergency supplies to the Areha district, including for nearby Muhambel town. It has been months since humanitarian assistance has been able to get through. Even now that the fighting has stopped in this area, the 22-truck convoy had to take a circuitous route to avoid active hot areas.
FGM needs to be put on political centre stage. It needs the hashtags, the likes, the virals to bring the silent suffering of millions out in public discourse. Until such time 140 million girls and women will continue to be told that their genitals have been cut and mutilated to make them "clean" and "beautiful".