At the end of the invigorating and stimulating three day Skoll World Forum I met with Kennedy Odede, founder of Shining Hope for Communities, (SHOFCO) and Kibera School for Girls. Our meeting was inspiring and poignant and echoed many themes I had heard throughout the conference regarding the importance of girl's education. It seems fitting that I tie my interview with Kennedy to these issues in this article.
When asked, only seven per cent of parents said that they would encourage their girls to be engineers - despite the fact that girls show an active interest in STEM subjects from an early age. Could it be that parents are limiting their children's future career choices through outdated perceptions of the jobs they think girls and boys are interested in?
Women and girls face discrimination due to gender, potential disabilities and stigma - a triple jeopardy. According to UNDP, girls and women affected by leprosy make up some of the world's poorest and most marginalised groups, disproportionately affected by poverty, illiteracy and lack of education which act as barriers to seeking health treatment. Women and girls with leprosy and those affected by other neglected tropical diseases have the right to health care and the barriers to that stop this must be addressed.
More and more, we are hearing about the convergence of health and education. You can't learn if you are out of school sick. Lack of education leads to poverty and in turn the inability to access healthcare. To lead productive lives, people need both health and education: the two are cause and effect.
Today, history is made. Malala Yousafzai becomes the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, standing shoulder to shoulder with illustrious Laureates past Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi and Mother Theresa.
Britain's greatest Paralympian Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson wrote in her autobiography: "For me, disability has not been about overcoming things." Now a Parliamentarian and campaigner in the House of Lords, the 16-time Paralympic medal winner credited her success to a loving and supportive upbringing...
Food is an intrinsic part of Nigerian culture and family life. Nonetheless, we must protect our mothers, our children, and our environment, from the harmful effects of household air pollution and inefficient fuels. This may mean a move away from the traditional firewood stoves that impart the traditional flavours that we all enjoy.
Sexual violence is a specifically reprehensible form of violence, and includes rape and any other attack of a sexual nature perpetuated against both males and females. Its repercussions can be iniquitous, and may include acute and physical repercussions for survivors and witnesses. Human trafficking can also lead to sexual violence, and I will be discussing the issue of 'modern slavery' in this article. I will also highlight the brutal effects of sexual violence in conflict.