As I learned from this event - and from the Global Summit in general - the effects of globalisation and immigration mean that the West can no longer sit back and allow the suffering of ethnic groups, particularly as some of their members now walk the streets of our egalitarian nation. Hopefully, this modest event was a first step in creating a dialogue between Somali victims and the international community about the reality of life as a minority in Somalia, and what we can do to help.
Consent is a word we may think we have an understanding of, given its commonplace and importance in the law. But when it comes to sex and relationships we need to clarify and talk far more openly about it, particularly in schools, to help combat the widespread sexual violence against women; a problem that is reaching alarming levels.
It's not just that there is a 'moral case' for greater diversity in business. Capitalising on women's potential makes economic sense. Having more women on corporate boards has been shown to increase both the share price and the return on equity. It doesn't surprise me that the 2013 list of the world's most valuable brands showed companies with a greater than average proportion of female board members outperforms those with an all-male board. So why are women undervalued across the business spectrum?
Many people do not vote because of a sense of hopelessness. Would my vote make a difference? Would it have an impact on government? Here's a real-life example for those cynics, skeptics and pessimists ... In Southcoates East, UKIP's victory was decided by only 9 votes. With the benefit of hindsight, would you have voted if that preordained the defeat of such party?
People with cerebral palsy can remember when SCOPE was called The Spastic Society. Now we have a culture where political correctness has overtaken and one cannot use the term 'disabled' or 'mentally handicapped' or even 'handicapped'; instead we have to use the terms 'less-abled' or 'learning difficulties'. Is this really required
March 17th marked the opening of the 12th International Congress on Obesity in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. To get the conference off to a good start, the organisers - The World Obesity Federation - decided to put their money where their mouth was and turn off the escalators in the conference centre. If only they'd put their brains there instead.
It has long been known that positive interaction with members of other groups (ethnic, religious and so on) promotes more positive attitudes to others. Why, then, is it sometimes claimed that diversity poses a challenge to modern society, makes people withdraw from interaction, makes us less trusting of one another?
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".