It's incredible to consider by 2016, that less than half of the countries in the world had achieved gender parity for girls in primary and secondary education. Staggeringly, only 29% of the world's researchers are women - under represented in fields of science and technology - the world's growing industries and arguably our future
As I continue to recover from my recent surgery, I have realised in the last week how important my partner's role is for our son's development. Of course, I have always known that my son needs his daddy but when your partner works offshore and you are the one running the household, often alone raising your child it is easy to forget
I thought I had it nailed but it turns out adding another human to the mix of daddy day care brings new challenges. Where I once had dinner time sorted and meals ready for us all to eat together; I now have one demanding some time to play and another pawing at the child gate that keeps them out and me in the kitchen.
So if you've entered 2017 piled with worry about whether you're doing the right thing, right now, in your life. Please... don't. Live for the moment, focus on what makes you happy, and the rest will come along soon enough. And if for whatever reason none of us wake up tomorrow, at least we can say we enjoyed the ride.
For the first 6 months or so I was pretty much redundant when it came to feeding Littlest View From a Daddy. With Mrs VFAD nursing our newest addition, it meant that I needed to take on other key roles that are essential when a little human arrives in the house: changing nappies, getting the washing sorted, taking charge of the family meals etc.
It is logical that developing pathways of support for this young man and thousands like him could change the life chances for both father and child. In turn, that would bring cost benefits to service providers like local authorities, as well as creating a positive social value in breaking the negative cycles we have seen for so many years.
Of course it isn't always easy to find the motivation, and sometimes I feel guilty dragging Sonny away from the warmth of the house and the comfort of his bouncy chair, but this little dude absolutely loves being outside and I can't deny him that pleasure just because it's got a bit chillier and I'm feeling lazy.
Our conversations at the dinner table have certainly taken a turn for the strange since my wife fell pregnant. "I wish I'd gone around licking cats' bums before we conceived," she said in earnest the other day. We were talking toxoplasmosis, a rare parasitic disease that pregnant women can transmit to their unborn babies with dire consequences.
I may be so much more conscious of this issue as a single parent, who is self-employed, runs a charity and has raised two kids 'single handedly'. My girls roll their eyes and mime at this line as it is much used, mainly in an aim to get people to see that if I can do it....anyone can, seriously, anyone can do this.
My emotions have been all over the place in the last week. It all started with a bug, our eight year old son complained of a sore tummy. This turned into sickness and diarrhoea that felt endless! My wife at this time was nine months pregnant and our focus was on getting our son better before his new little brother came along.
In answer to the question, no women do not better parents than men. There are, of course, bad dads in the world and there are also bad mothers. I just don't think society gives men the opportunities to prove what great parents they can be. This is simply because the overwhelming responsibility for raising children almost always falls on women and this starts at birth.