Six out of the world's ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, but their potential will not be realised without long-term improvements to education, health and the opportunity for women to give birth in environments free from violence. The further prize is increased productivity and economic growth.
A change in our society's attitude towards people with a learning disability would be a positive change for society in general. However, we all have to work together to achieve this. It's for this reason, that during this Learning Disability Week, we want to show that a person with a learning disability can have the same firsts as anybody else. All we need now is for everyone to listen.
We are still fighting for the rights of children to have a free and quality education. It is now over two full months ago that more than 200 girls were abducted from a school in Chibok, northern Nigeria by the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram. This terrible situation is the worst nightmare any parent can experience.
The 70th anniversity of D-Day the centenary of the First World War pinpoint 2014 as a year of wartime nostalgia. Amongst fabulous stories of rebel veterans absconding from their care homes to Normandy and colourful re-enactment celebrations, one of the quieter questions being bartered around is 'do kids really know what's going on?.'
Most don't. I'm not surprised as it seems a no brainer right? To tell kids age-appropriate information so they can prepare for certain life events in advance and handle them better. There's been a time for all of us looking back when we would think 'I wish I had known this or that before it happened'...
Our research allowed us to ask: Do teenagers feel the same as their parents about big issues facing them? How do they think about representations of drugs misuse, dangerous behaviour, or the sexualisation of younger people in the media? How do young people use the age ratings system (they do!) in a multi-platform landscape?
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.
I am a firm believer in doing whatever is right for you in life with regards to career decisions and when to start a family, there should be no rules or guidelines, and no one should be frowned upon for their choices in life. As a result, it is no wonder that I disagree with Kirstie Allsopp's 'advice' to young girls about having a baby by 27 and ditching university.