A former boss of mine had a habit of saying 'women can't tell jokes and women can't do creative'. He was referring to creating advertising ideas, when he said this but he could have meant anything creative, even cooking. Actually, he was including cooking: 'all of the best chefs in the world are men' he would also remind us.
So it seems that Disney has moved with the times, as it is the more recent princesses that symbolise true female role models. Merida, a new princess from Brave, shows that Disney has tossed aside the snow-white, angelic style. Instead, the bushy, ginger-haired scruff ball, is a free-spirited and powerful girl...
Anyone look back at your tween and teen years and reminisce about how incredibly awkward and uncomfortable you felt in your own skin? Anyone, in conjunction, also realize that those quirks you felt so odd about back then have actually made you the unique person you are today? Anyone think how sad it was that you wasted all that time and energy worrying about what others thought about you? Well...I sure as hell do.
While I do think that can be true in any country in the world, Brazil is a particularly macho society and girls still get subjected to insults or ridicule just for having an interest in playing football. The FIFA World Cup presents a great opportunity for children all over the country to meet people from different cultures and experience the magic of the game.
Of all the threats to life that people in the developing world face, it is astonishing that the simple act of cooking is one of the greatest dangers of them all. And the scale of the tragedy is enormous; nearly three billion people in the developing world cook food and heat their homes with firewood or charcoal on traditional cookstoves or open fires.
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.
I recently heard a good story from someone about becoming a dad. After his child was delivered the man was handed the tiny baby, as the midwife did so she quickly checked the sex, and proudly said 'here's your big strong boy.' The father wondered if the midwife had delivered a girl whether she would have said 'here's your big strong girl.' Right from the first seconds of being born we are judged and compartmentalized.
As a young woman living with a disability in a disaster-affected community Mavie faces even more challenges than most - Plan works hard to ensure that the rights and needs of children like Mavie are taken into account when planning for, and responding to, disasters like Typhoon Haiyan.As a young woman living with a disability in a disaster-affected community Mavie faces even more challenges than most - Plan works hard to ensure that the rights and needs of children like Mavie are taken into account when planning for, and responding to, disasters like Typhoon Haiyan.